Bill Gates’ latest investment: The billionaire acquires 3.76% of Heineken shares from Femsa for $938 million

Bill Gates, through his foundation, invests in Heineken brewery shares. Femsa divests its stake to focus on key verticals and pay down debt.

Billionaire and Microsoft founder Bill Gates bought 939 million dollars in shares of the brewery Heineken from Fomento Económico Mexicano (Femsa).

This February 22, 2023, as part of his new business plan, billionaire Bill Gates bought 3.76 percent of the shares of Heineken Holding NV.

Bill Gates bought the shares from Femsa as part of the Mexican company’s divestment of its stake in the brewery to use the proceeds to pay down debt and expand plans.

Bill Gates’ purchase of Heineken’s shares from Femsa

According to the registry of the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), the purchase of Heineken shares by Bill Gates was made through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and took place on February 16.

That same day, the Mexican company Femsa launched the first offer to sell its Heineken shares, for which it expected to receive 3 billion euros.

This was part of its plan to divest its 14.76% stake in the brewery and focus on businesses such as Oxxo, its gas stations, its bottling company, and its Fintech arm.

Heineken (Darkroom / Moisés Pablo)

In another statement dated February 17, Femsa announced the sale of 18 million shares it held in Heineken Holding. Bill Gates bought 10.8 million shares for €883 million (US$939.87 million) at current market prices.

This triggered a disclosure requirement under Dutch stock market rules.

Bill Gates’ purchase of Heineken shares has recalled the billionaire’s statements in a 2018 “Ask Me Anything” chat session on Reddit, where he said he was “not a big beer drinker.”

Femsa said its new vision sought to maximize long-term value creation and focus on key verticals with the greatest strategic relevance, growth potential, financial strengths, and competitiveness.

In addition, its shares in Heineken are not the only thing that Fomento Económico Mexicano will put up for sale, as its divestment plans include getting rid of other businesses that are no longer in the company’s strategic focus.

Bill Gates
Bill Gates (Lenin Nolly / Efe)

Femsa contemplates exiting other companies

In addition to the Heineken brewery, Femsa contemplates exiting totally or partially from other companies such as:

  • Solistica logistics
  • U.S.-based Jetro Cash & Carry
  • Alpunto
  • Envoy Solution

Femsa’s Director of Investor Relations, Juan Fonseca Serratos, explained that it is a growing company and there are many “avenues” to continue to do so in its businesses, which will now be fewer.