Bezos cashes in £2bn with Amazon shares up more than 70% this year

Bezos cashes in £2bn with Amazon shares up more than 70% this year as pandemic drives more shoppers online

Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has sold more than £2billion of shares as he cashes in on the soaring value of his company.

The 56-year-old, who is the world’s richest man, sold 1m shares in a flurry of trades on Wednesday, according to regulatory filings.

This netted him £2.3billion and took share sales this year to almost £8billion. Bezos, who set up Amazon in 1994, still holds 53.3m shares, worth £133billion, in the company.

Chump change: Amazon boss Jeff Bezos (pictured with news presenter girlfriend Lauren Sanchez) sold 1m shares netting £2.3bn, according to regulatory filings

Amazon shares are up by 80 per cent this year after the pandemic drove more shoppers online, turbo- charging sales.

The trades by Bezos, which were part of a scheduled dealing plan, took the total value of his share sales this year to £7.8billion – well above last year when he sold £2.1billion of shares. Amazon declined to comment on the transactions.

But the billionaire, whose girlfriend is TV news presenter Lauren Sanchez, has previously said he sells at least £765million ($1billion) of stock per year to help fund the activities of his Blue Origin rocket company.

On top of this, he committed £7.7billion this year to a new Earth Fund that will issue grants to scientists, activists and organisations tackling climate change.

Bezos, who bought the Washington Post newspaper for £191million in 2013, has even been linked with a bid for the TV network CNN.

Last year, he splashed out £132million on the nine-acre Warner Estate in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. The home, described as ‘one of the most beautiful properties in the world’, was designed during the 1930s for film mogul Jack Warner and features huge gardens and its own golf course.

Bezos owns other massive American properties, including another home in Beverly Hills, three homes in Medina, Washington, a converted museum in Washington DC, land in Texas and New York apartments.

Bezos was married to novelist MacKenzie Scott, 50, until last year, when they divorced. They have three sons and an adopted daughter. Scott owns about 4 per cent of Amazon, which is worth £47billion. 

She has vowed to give at least half to the ‘Giving Pledge’, a philanthropic cause for the world’s richest people, which has also been signed by Bill and Melinda Gates, and billionaire investor Warren Buffett.  

Fresh surge for big tech stock

US tech stocks surged again yesterday as investors bet that a Republican-held Senate would block sweeping changes by presidential hopeful Joe Biden.

Shares in Apple, Amazon, Google’s parent Alphabet and Facebook all rose, adding more than £300billion to their combined value since Tuesday. 

Biden – the favourite to win the US election – appeared unlikely to take back control of the Senate, potentially making it difficult for him to increase taxes on business and the rich, and slap new regulations on the big tech firms.

Analysts said it could leave the US Congress in gridlock until the next elections in two years.