Bill Gates acquires stakes in three Czech breweries via Heineken shares

The world’s sixth richest person now owns part of Europe’s second-largest brewing concern despite not being a beer fan. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.02.2023 10:21:00 (updated on 24.02.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates bought a stake in Dutch beer maker Heineken, which owns the Czech breweries Starobrno, Krušovice, and Velké Březno.

Gates paid around USD 902 million for a 3.76 percent stake in the Dutch company Heineken Holding, the parent company of brewer Heineken NV, according to the Dutch Financial Markets Regulatory Authority (AFM).

He acquired 10.8 million shares from the Mexican company FEMSA (Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V.), which sold its entire stake in Heineken Holding on Feb. 17. FEMSA in total held 18 million shares, news agency Reuters reported. In Mexico, FEMSA is the bottler of Coca-Cola and owner of the convenience store chain Oxxo. FEMSA decided to get rid of its Heineken stake after a strategic review of its portfolio.

In an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit in 2018, 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,” Gates said, according to Reuters.

According to financial magazine Forbes' most recent ranking, Gates is currently the sixth richest person in the world, with a net worth of USD 104.5 billion.

Heineken is the number one brewer in Europe and the second largest in the world. It owns over 165 breweries in over 70 countries. The company owns more than 300 brands, in addition to Heineken it also controls Amstel, Tiger, and Sol, for example.

Krušovice  beer. Photo: Flickr, Lynne Hand, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Krušovice beer. Photo: Flickr, Lynne Hand, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In Czechia, Heineken brands together are number three on the Czech market after Plzeňský Prazdroj and Staropramen breweries.

Heineken acquired the Starobrno brewery in 2003, Královský pivovar Krušovice in 2007, and the Velké Březno brewery in 2008. They produce 2.5 million hectoliters of beer and cider at the Czech breweries, and distribute 13 brands. Heineken employs over 500 people in production, logistics, and distribution.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more