USA/Netherlands: Bill Gates becomes shareholder in Heineken

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and one of the richest people on earth, has bought 10.83 million shares in Heineken Holding NV for EUR 883 million (about USD 902 million), according to a statement by the Dutch Financial Market Authority (AFM). The shares were sold by Mexican group FEMSA, which announced last week that it was divesting its entire 14.76% stake in the Dutch brewing group. (, 15.2.2023)

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.

The AFM filing said the shares were purchased on Feb. 17, the same day when also Heineken N.V. bought back 3.89 million shares in Heineken Holding N.V. and another 7.78 million shares in Heineken N.V. from FEMSA for an aggregate amount of EUR 1 billion. (, 17.2.2023)

Heineken Holding‘s only investment is Heineken N.V. in which it holds a 50.4% stake. Heineken Holding is majority owned (53.7%) by investment company L’Arche Green N.V which bundles the interests of theHeineken and the Hoyer families. The doubly nested corporate structure always ensures that the owner families have always a majority of votes at shareholder meetings.

Gates new investment gives him a direct 3.76% share in Heineken Holding N.V. and an indirect share of 1.89% in Heineken N.V.

It can be estimated that Gates has placed the investment on pure economical terms because he said five years ago in a chat session on Reddit that he was "not a big beer drinker."

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