Bill Gates buys Heineken stake, despite saying he’s ‘not a big beer drinker’

February 23, 2023 - 9:09 AM
Bill Gates speaks at the Oslo Energy Forum, which is held at Oslo City Hall, Norway February 14, 2023. (NTB/Ole Berg-Rusten via Reuters)

 Bill Gates has bought 3.76% stake in Dutch drinks giant Heineken Holding NV HEIO.AS, although the billionaire founder of Microsoft has previously said he was “not a big beer drinker.”

The filing by the Netherlands’ Financial Markets Authority (AFM) said the shares were purchased on Feb. 17. Heineken Holding owns a controlling stake in brewer Heineken NV HEIN.AS.

Gates purchased the shares from Mexico’s FEMSA, which is selling out of the brewing company.

A separate filing also dated Feb. 17 showed FEMSA sold all 18 million shares it held in Heineken Holding. Gates purchased 10.8 million shares, worth 883 million euros ($939.87 million) at current market prices, triggering a disclosure requirement under Dutch stock market rules.

In a 2018 “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.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the charitable foundation launched by the billionaire and his former wife, wasn’t immediately available for comment.

($1 = 0.9395 euros)

—Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Jan Harvey