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Australia’s richest couple Andrew and Nicola Forrest announce split

Andrew Forrest is the second-richest person in Australia and has an estimated net worth of $33.2 billion.

Andrew and Nicola Forrest.
Andrew and Nicola Forrest have been married for 31 years. (Source: AAP)

Iron ore billionaires Andrew and Nicola Forrest have announced their separation after more than three decades of marriage.

The couple said the split would not affect their shared business interests, which includes mining giant Fortescue Metals Group.

“After 31 years of marriage, we have made the decision to live apart. Our friendship and commitment to our family remains strong,” the couple said in a joint statement.

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“There is no impact on the operations, control or direction of Fortescue, Minderoo or Tattarang.

“We will continue our shared mission to create and gift our wealth to tackle community and global challenges, as recently shown by last month’s donation of one-fifth of our Fortescue shareholding to Minderoo Foundation.”

The couple have three adult children together, and it is understood they have no plans to divorce.

What is Andrew Forrest’s net worth?

Andrew and Nicola Forrest are thought to be the wealthiest couple in Australia and together hold more than a third interest in Fortescue Metals.

Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest was named the nation’s second-richest person - for the fourth year in a row - in this year’s Financial Review Rich List, with a net worth of $33.29 billion.

He came in behind fellow mining magnate Gina Rinehart, who had a reported net worth of $37.41 billion.

Last year, the Forrests revealed their three children wouldn’t inherit the vast majority of their wealth and that it would instead be distributed to a range of charitable causes. In June, the pair donated a fifth of their Fortescue shareholding - nearly $5 billion - to Minderoo, their philanthropic foundation.

Confirmation of the split came after more than $1.1 billion worth of Fortescue shares were moved into a new company, Coaxial Ventures, owned wholly by Nicola Forrest, according to the Australian Financial Review.

It followed a change in February to the ownership structure of Tattarang - the pair’s private investment group - where Andrew Forrest gave half of his shareholding to his wife.

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