American business giant and philanthropist Bill Gates says he and his wife, Melinda, are separating after 27 years together.

The couple announced the decision in a statement posted to Twitter Monday afternoon.

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“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the statement read. “Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives.”

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The statement said the pair feels they “continue to share a belief in that mission,” and will continue their work together at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“But we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives,” the statement read.

The two asked for “space and privacy” as they “begin to navigate this new life.”

Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard and co-founded Microsoft alongside Paul Allen in 1975. 

He owned 49 per cent of Microsoft at its initial public offering in 1986, which made him an instant multi-millionaire. With Microsoft’s explosive growth, he soon became the world’s richest person.

According to a list of the world’s wealthiest people compiled by business magazine Forbes released last month, Gates had a net worth of $124 billion.

-With a file from Reuters




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