Bill Gates Liquidates Stake in Largest McDonald’s Franchisee
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks during the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing, China. (Photographer: Takaaki Iwabu/Bloomberg)

Bill Gates Liquidates Stake in Largest McDonald’s Franchisee

Bill Gates’s investment firm sold its shares in the world’s largest independent McDonald’s Corp. franchisee, exiting a holding owned for more than five years.

Cascade Investment no longer owns shares in Arcos Dorados Holdings Inc., having previously held a stake of about 7% in the company now worth almost $40 million, filings show. The Microsoft Corp. co-founder’s charitable trust, which previously held about 2.4%, also sold its shares.

Cascade Investment and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation first invested in Arcos Dorados, an operator of McDonald’s stores across Latin America and the Caribbean, in early 2014. Shares in the Montevideo, Uruguay-based company -- whose name means “Golden Arches” in Spanish -- have since fallen by more than half. In August, Arcos Dorados reported a 60% drop in revenue for the three months ended June 30 from a year earlier, hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.

Shares of Arcos Dorados slid about 1% to $4.27 at 10:59 a.m. in New York, and have tumbled 47% this year.

Gates, 64, has parlayed the proceeds of Microsoft into a global empire of listed assets through Cascade Investment, ranging from railroads to agricultural businesses and construction firms. The Kirkland, Washington-based family office boosted its holding last month in private jet services company Signature Aviation PLC and was among the big winners of Vroom Inc.’s June initial public offering, when the used-car sales platform more than doubled in its first day of trading. Gates has a net worth of $123 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

A spokesman for Arcos Dorados declined to comment, while representatives for the Gates family didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.