Teetotaler Bill Gates invests Sh118b in Heineken

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.[The Gates Foundation]

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has bought 3.76 per cent stake in Dutch drinks giant Heineken Holding NV at $939.87 million (Sh118 billion), despite him previously announcing that he was not a big beer drinker.

The shares were sold by Mexican group FEMSA, which announced last week that it was divesting its entire 14.76 per cent stake in the Dutch brewing group.

"Of the 10.83 million shares, Bill Gates bought 6.65 million as a private individual and another 4.18 million through the non-profit Bill & Melinda Gates Investment Trust, a foundation owned by the American business magnate and his ex-wife," Inside Beer, an international beverage news website, reported.

In February 2018, during "Ask Me Anything" chat session on Reddit, Gates said he was "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 at the time.

The filing by the Netherlands' Financial Markets Authority said the shares were purchased on February 17, 2023. Heineken Holding owns a controlling stake in brewer Heineken NV.

A separate filing, also dated February 17, 2023, showed FEMSA sold all 18 million shares it held in Heineken Holding.

Gates purchased 10.8 million shares, worth $939.87 million (Sh118 billion), at the current market prices, triggering a disclosure requirement under Dutch stock market rules.

However, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a charitable foundation launched by the billionaire and his former wife, wasn't immediately available for comment, US media said.

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