Is Bill Gates planning to sell pair of yachts after dropping to lowest billionaire rank in decades?

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, has seen a significant reduction in his billionaire status, reaching the lowest levels in many years.

While Bill Gates is known for his environmental activism, he came under fire over ownership of superyachts.(Reuters)

According to a recent Forbes Billionaire Index study, Gates is currently the ninth richest person in the world, despite having a net worth of approximately $128 billion. He was ranked as the seventh richest on the world’s billionaires list just one month ago.

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After dominating the billionaire’s list for almost thirty years, starting in 1995, Gates’ recent fall in the rankings illustrates a major change in the mechanics of global wealth distribution.

Gates’ wealth has witnessed a major hit probably due to two significant factors. The first one is — the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has received donations totaling close to $59 billion. The second reason was his divorce with Melina French Gates in 2021 that has made things even worse financially.

While Gates is known for his environmental activism, he came under fire over ownership of superyachts. However, he is now reportedly planning to sell his pair of yachts, according to Benzinga.

The Microsoft co-founder bought The Wayfinder, his first superyacht built by Astilleros Armon, at the cost of $25 million in 2021. The yacht is a shadow craft, usually escorting a larger mothership that was not disclosed to the world yet.

The mothership, also known as Project 821, is being built at Feadship. The mothership is 390 feet long and has an interior volume greater than 7,000 gross tons (GT), will be one of the biggest and most opulent vessels the shipyard has built.

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Why is Bill Gates planning to sell pair of yachts?

The reason for the sales is not clear yet. But some argue that the maintenance and operating cost of the expensive vessels is too high, while others surmise that Gates is becoming more committed to environmental problems since his past remarks have shown his awareness about large carbon footprint.

In 2022 Gates Notes, he wrote: “Although I don’t care where I rank on the list of the world’s richest people, I do know that as I succeed in giving, I will drop down and eventually off the list altogether.”

His statement fits with his long-term objective of giving his majority of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Moreover, Gates seems to be enhancing his reputation as a climate activist. Given the growing worldwide concern about climate change, Gates may want to set an example of reducing luxury consumption and minimising its impact on the environment by selling the yachts.

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