Bill Gates made a nearly $100 million bet on Bud Light

Posted 28 days ago


Bud Light’s parent company is having a miserable year. But there’s at least one prominent investor who believes in Anheuser-Busch: Bill Gates.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust last quarter bought 1.7 million shares of Anheuser-Busch, valued at around $95 million, according to a regulatory filing, signaling that Gates has confidence in the beer company that has been dealing with a steep sales slump of one of its biggest beers.

Gates bought the stock around the time A-B reported earnings that fully encompassed the fallout from Bud Light’s partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Its decision to send a customized can to her sparked a transphobic backlash and alienated some of the company’s core customer base. The company’s subsequent response then angered members of the LGBTQ community.

But Gates has lost money on his investment so far: A-B’s stock is down nearly 2% since his purchase. The stock is down about 7% for the year.

Last month, A-B said that its US revenue fell 10% in the second quarter, hampered by falling Bud Light sales.

The company’s sales to US retailers declined by 14%, underperforming the wider beer industry, primarily due to the decline in the volume of Bud Light it sold. Revenue fell $395 million in North America during the period, compared to the same time a year ago. That figure included sales in Canada, where revenue rose, suggesting the slump was isolated to the United States.... (Read more)