Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sold ALL shares in Apple and TwitterMay 28, 2021
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sold ALL of its shares in Apple and Twitter – worth more than $140 million – just BEFORE couple announced divorce
- Filings first reported by Barrons show how Microsoft founder Bill and his wife of 27 years Melinda got rid of one million shares in Apple by the end of March
- They also sold all of their 272,420 shares in the social media site Twitter
- Securities and Exchange Commission filings show that they have reinvested by buying 5.7 million shares in South Korean e-commerce company Coupang
- The Trust has not commented on the decision to offload the shares
- Bill has disclosed stock transfers to Melinda worth $3 billion since divorce news
- Apple has been underperforming, falling 8% in the first quarter; they are up 2.7% so far in the second while he S&P added 5.8% in the first, 4.6 in the second
- Twitter rose 17.5% in the first quarter; it is down 14.4% in the second
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sold all its Apple and Twitter shares – likely worth around $140 million – just before the couple announced their divorce.
Regulatory filings show how the foundation of Microsoft founder Bill and his wife of 27 years, Melinda, got rid of one million shares in Apple by the end of March.
The foundation also sold all of its 272,420 shares in the social media site Twitter.
Although the foundation isn’t tied to the couple’s personal wealth, the sales come as they’re dividing up their personal fortune, with Bill having already transferred billions of dollars worth of stock into Melinda’s name.
The couple didn’t have a prenuptial agreement. Bill Gates is worth around $127 billion, according to the latest tally by Forbes. The foundation, meanwhile, is the world’s largest, with an endowment of more than $50 billion.
It isn’t clear why the foundation would have sold out of all of its Apple and Twitter shares, which was first reported by Barron’s. DailyMail.com has contacted the foundation for comment.
The sales might have simply been the normal repositioning of any investor as Apple has underperformed the broader stock market – falling 8 percent in the first quarter while the S&P 500 index added 5.8 percent. Twitter, however, rose 17.5 percent in the first quarter.
The filings, made with the Securities and Exchange Commission, don’t give a specific date for the sales – only that they happened sometime in the first quarter.
Based on Tuesday’s prices, the Gates Foundation shares would be worth around $140 million. Twitter stood at $56.89 a share Tuesday morning; Apple $126.80.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sold all its Apple and Twitter shares – worth hundreds of millions – just before the couple, pictured, announced their divorce
Bill’s stock transfers to Melinda
Canadian National Railway: 1.9% stake worth $1.55 billion
Deere & Co: 0.7% stake valued at $850 million
AutoNation: 3.7% stake worth $307 million
Coca-Cola Femsa SAB: 4.9% stake worth about $121 million
Grupo Televisa SA: 4.9% stake worth about $121 million
The foundation’s sales come as the couple has been repositioning its massive getting rid of their personal shares as Bill has been selling stock to transfer money to Melinda. As for the foundation, filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show it has reinvested the money gained by selling the Apple and Twitter shares by buying 5.7 million shares in South Korean e-commerce company Coupang.
The foundation has not commented on the decision to offload the shares but Bill has disclosed personal stock transfers to Melinda worth roughly $3 billion since news of their divorce first broke in early May.
Last week it was reported Bill had given Melinda $850 million worth of shares in Deere & Co.
The transfer of 2.25 million shares in the company, which makes the iconic John Deere tractors, was disclosed in a regulatory filing on Friday with the Securities Exchange Commission.
The filing said that Bill received ‘no consideration’ for the transfer of shares to Melinda, which represented about 7 percent of his total stake in Deere & Co.
Since the couple announced their divorce on May 3, Bill has disclosed stock transfers including shares of AutoNation and Canadian National Railway.
Melinda is also now one of the largest individual shareholders in two Mexican companies, bottler Coca-Cola Femsa SAB and and cable company Grupo Televisa SA.
Bill and Melinda reportedly have no prenuptial agreement, but reached a separation settlement before making their split public.
With a fortune valued at $126 billion on Tuesday, Bill is the forth richest man in the world, after Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, according to Bloomberg.
Following news of the split, reports emerged that Bill had inappropriately pursued women who worked for him at Microsoft and his namesake philanthropic foundation while he was married.
The reports from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal detailed Gates’ alleged behavior toward women, ranging from a full-blown affair at Microsoft to asking out women who felt uncomfortable with his advances at both institutions.
Scrutiny has also been growing over his close relationship with sex predator Jeffrey Epstein, from whom he allegedly sought marital advice.
Melinda, who now goes by Melinda French Gates, was also upset at the way allegations of sexual harassment against Michael Larson, one of Gates’ key lieutenants and the manager of his personal fortune, were handled.
Filings first reported by Barrons show how Microsoft founder Bill and his wife of 27 years Melinda got rid of one million shares in Apple by the end of March
The couple also sold 270,000 shares in the social media site Twitter
Filings Securities and Exchange Commission show that they have reinvested by buying 5.7 million shares in South Korean e-commerce company Coupang
Microsoft said it hired a law firm in late 2019 to conduct an investigation after a Microsoft engineer alleged in a letter that she had a sexual relationship with Gates over several years.
Gates’ private office spokesperson called it ‘an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably.’
Microsoft in March 2020 announced Gates was leaving the board to ‘dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities’ but would continue to serve as a technology adviser to CEO Satya Nadella and other Microsoft leaders.
Gates’ spokesperson said the investigation did not force him off the board and that he had for years planned to spend more time on his philanthropy.
‘It is extremely disappointing that there have been so many untruths published about the cause, the circumstances and the timeline of Bill Gates´ divorce,’ the spokesperson told the Times.
Bill Gates departs dinner at Nobu with daughter Phoebe in New York on Saturday
Last week it was reported Bill had given Melinda $850 million worth of shares in Deere & Co. The transfer of 2.25 million shares in the company, which makes the iconic John Deere tractors, was disclosed in a regulatory filing on Friday with the SEC
The divorce petition Melinda filed on May 3, the same day she and Bill publicly announced their split, called the marriage ‘irretrievably broken.’
The petition indicated that the couple had reached a ‘separation contract’ outlining how they planned to divide their estate – which includes properties in five states, a private jet, an astonishing art collection and a fleet of luxury cars.
Melinda did not ask for any spousal support but requested a trial date in April 2022. However, it is likely the divorce will be settled without a trial.
Legal experts have also said she could use her blockbuster divorce to increase her three children’s inheritance from the $10million her estranged husband publicly vowed to give each of them.
Bill has already sold off or donated most of his stock in Microsoft, which he co-founded, but still owns at 1.3 percent stake valued at about $25 billion.
His investments in other companies are managed though his investment firm Cascade LLC, which disclosed the transfers to Melinda in regulatory filings.
Federal regulations require investors to disclose significant changes in holdings if they own at least 5 percent of a company.
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