Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Melinda French Gates Receives Billions in Shares From Cascade

Melinda French Gates at the Group of Seven finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Chantilly, France, on 18 July 2019. (Photo: Jasper Juinen / Bloomberg)

Cascade Investment, the holding company created by Bill Gates, transferred stock in two of Mexico’s largest companies to Melinda French Gates, bringing the total amount she’s received in the past few days to more than $2 billion.

Cascade moved stock in Coca-Cola FEMSA and Grupo Televisa to her control, according to regulatory filings dated May 3, the same day the Gateses announced they were ending their 27-year marriage. Cascade shifted about $1.8 billion of shares in Canadian National Railway Co. and AutoNation Inc. this week to French Gates, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.Read more: Bill and Melinda Gates start dividing $145 billion

Their separation is expected to involve a wealth transfer on a scale that’s only been seen in a few other divorces, though few details have yet emerged. It could also have ramifications for one of the most important philanthropic organizations on the planet. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given away in excess of $50 billion to support healthcare, education, gender equality and efforts to combat climate change.

Gates, the 65-year-old co-founder of Microsoft Corp. is worth $144.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. French Gates, 56, is a former Microsoft manager who’s gained international prominence co-running the foundation, and more recently for starting Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company to advance ‘social progress’ in the U.S.

Bill Gates’s biggest asset is Cascade Investment, which he created with the proceeds of Microsoft stock sales and dividends. Cascade oversees a vast portfolio comprising real estate, energy and hospitality as well as stakes in dozens of public companies.

The biggest public position is agricultural-machinery maker Deere & Co., with Cascade holding more than 10% of the stock valued at about $12 billion, followed by an $11.8 billion stake in waste-collection company Republic Services Inc., Bloomberg data show. That’s followed by Canadian National and Ecolab Inc.

Most of the portfolio, overseen by money manager Michael Larson, is comprised of North American companies, but it also owns stock in Diageo Plc, the world’s largest distiller, and London-based private-jet services firm Signature Aviation Plc.

The Gateses are also among the largest landowners in America and have homes including their 66,000 square-foot mansion in Medina, Washington.

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

X

This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.


Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

Become a Maverick Insider

This could have been a paywall

On another site this would have been a paywall. Maverick Insider keeps our content free for all.

Become an Insider
Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Download the Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox.

+ Your election day questions answered
+ What's different this election
+ Test yourself! Take the quiz