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Bill Gates buys €850 million stake in Heineken

The Microsoft billionaire has snapped up a 3.76% stake in Heineken Holding NV, despite admitting he is “not a big beer drinker”.

According to the Netherlands Financial Markets Authority, Bill Gates purchased the shares, worth €850 million, on 17 February.

His stake in the company was bought from Mexico’s FEMSA, which offloaded all 18 million of its shares in the firm. Gates has bought 10.8 million of these, which represents a large enough slice of the business to beckon a disclosure requirement under Dutch stock market law.

The move has come as a surprise to some, as Gates has previously admitted he is not a big beer drinker.

“When I end up at something like a baseball game I drink light beer to get with the vibe of all the other beer drinkers. Sorry to disappoint real beer drinkers,” he said in a 2018 interview with Reddit.

It arguably couldn’t be a better time to invest in the beer company, with Heineken having last week reported a 2022 profit leap, with further growth predicted for 2023.

Net revenue increased by 21.2% organically last year, with total consolidated volume growing by 6.4% and net revenue per hectolitre up 13.9%.

With Gates’ new interest in Heineken, the brewer’s parent company joins the likes of Microsoft Corp (MSFT), Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRK. B), Canadian National Railway Co (CNI), Waste Management Inc (WM), Caterpillar Inc (CAT) among the tech pioneer’s portfolio.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates was the richest man in the world for 15 consecutive years from 1995 to 2010, and again from 2013 to 2017.

He has vowed to eventually pass on all his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the charitable fund he set up with his ex-wife in 2000.

“As I look to the future, I plan to give virtually all of my wealth to the foundation. I will move down and eventually off of the list of the world’s richest people,” Gates said on Twitter last year.



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