Amazon founder to sell $1b worth of shares to fund rocket venture
Main page News, US, Tech, Aviation

Amazon's (NASDAQ: Amazon.com [AMZN]) billionaire founder Jeff Bezos is selling around $1 billion worth of stock in the retailer to fund his rocket company Blue Origin.

The firm had hoped to take its first passengers on 11-minute rocket flights this year but Bezos told a news conference at the US Space Symposium in Colorado Springs that the goal was probably still a year away.

"My business model right now … for Blue Origin is I sell about $1 billion of Amazon stock a year and I use it to invest in Blue Origin," he said.

Amazon taking office supply business to UK
Amazon taking office supply business to UK

Bezos is Amazon's largest shareholder with 80.9 million shares, according to Thomson Reuters.

Amazon stock has soared recently on the back of the acquisition of Middle East e-commerce giant Souq and so has the net worth of Bezos, now at $75.6 billion.

Amazon buys biggest online retailer in Middle East
Amazon buys biggest online retailer in Middle East

At yesterday's closing price of $909.28, Bezos 16.95 percent stake in Amazon is worth $73.54 billion.

To raise $1 billion he will need to sell 1,099,771 shares, which is just a fraction of his stake.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos overtakes Buffett to become second richest person in the world
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos overtakes Buffett to become second richest person in the world

Bezos said he is unsure how much he will need to put into Blue Origin to make its vision a reality but said he will spend as much as it takes.

"It's a long road to get there and I’m happy to invest in it," he said.

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