• Saturday, July 20, 2024
businessday logo


Bill Gates buys minority stake in Heineken for $902m

Gates unveils fresh $30m fund to scale AI-driven health solutions in Nigeria, others

Bill Gates has acquired a minority stake in Heineken Holding NV, the controlling shareholder of the world’s second-largest brewer, for about $902 million.

The Microsoft founder and philanthropist picked up 3.8 percent of Heineken Holding, according to a filing by the Dutch regulator AFM.

He bought 6.65 million shares in Heineken Holding, in his individual capacity, and another 4.18 million shares through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust.

The value of Gates’s overall stake was worth around 848 million euros, or about $901.6 million, as of market close on Monday.

The Microsoft co-founder has previously said he’s not that into beer.

Read also: Banks open but no cash after election

On an “Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit in 2018, Gates was asked what his favorite beer is.

“I am not a big beer drinker,” Gates wrote in response to the question, adding that if he goes to baseball games, for example, he’ll “drink light beer to get with the vibe of all the other beer drinkers.”

Last July, a study was published about the health risks of alcohol consumption that received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which the billionaire and his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates, started decades ago.

The study found that “stronger interventions” are needed, specifically for younger people, “to reduce the substantial global health loss attributable to alcohol.”

But the Microsoft cofounder has invested in a beer company before.

Long before his Reddit post and the health study, Gates bought a $392 million stake in one of Mexico’s largest brewers, Femsa, in 2007. Femsa, which is the largest bottler of Coca-Cola, sold its brewery to Heineken in 2010, and is now divesting from Heineken, the company said in a press release.