During the second quarter of this year, there were calls for a boycott of Bud Light parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev. However, despite this, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, appeared to throw his support behind the company.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, which manages assets for the foundation, purchased approximately 1.7 million shares of AB InBev during the second quarter, amounting to around $96 million. This information was revealed in a regulatory filing on Aug. 14, although it had been reported by other outlets earlier.
The timing and reasons for the purchase, as well as whether the trust still holds these shares, remain unclear at the moment. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has yet to comment on the matter.
The boycott, which began in April and was led by conservatives, was triggered by Bud Light’s brief promotional collaboration with a transgender influencer named Dylan Mulvaney. As a result of this ongoing boycott, Bud Light has experienced a significant drop in sales and a decline in its U.S. market share.
Since June 30, AB InBev shares have fallen by 1.1%, resulting in a loss of approximately $1.1 million in value for the shares purchased by the trust.
On Wednesday, AB InBev shares saw a modest increase of 0.2%. However, year to date, the stock is down by around 6%.
The majority of the decline in stock value occurred in May when the boycott started gaining momentum.