Tonight we received the quarterly filings for Cascade Investment LLC, which shows the personal investments of Bill Gates. While the investment vehicle listed many unique holdings out there that were much the same as before, there are much more interesting things to look at besides his now greatly-diminished role at Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). Cascade’s now holds 33.895 million shares of Canadian National Railways Co. (NYSE: CNI) with a stake worth some $1.627 Billion as of June 30, 2008. many of his other holdings look the same as before which you can see in this filing versus what we noted last quarter.
Other substantial Gates stock holdings outside the US are GrupoTelevisa SA (NYSE: TV) with 19.68 million shares worth almost $465million and a stake of 13.31 million shares of Fomento EconmicoMexicano, S.A.B de C.V (NYSE: FMX) worth about $605 million. If hekeeps contributing to those investments he’s going to be called GringoGates rather than Garbage Man Gates.
But the one standout stock he has been steadily adding to is innersecret dream he never got to pursue because of his infatuation with "0"and "1" and programming: he must really have wanted to become a garbageman. Yep, Bill Gates has steadily added to his position in RepublicServices Inc. (NYSE: RSG). As of June 30 he owned 27.192+ millionshares worth some $807.6 million at the time. But in more recenttransactions he has actually added to these. With the last filing thatcame out tonight he now owns just under 31.4 million shares, whichcomes to 17.3% of the company. The last round of purchases was 680,000shares with an average price of $34.83 for these buys. There wasanother filing Wednesday showing he had bought 1.35 million othershares at an average price of $34.89.
What is more important than anything is that Mr. Gates is investingright into the tempest of a merger. Waste Management Inc. (NYSE: WMI)has just recently hiked its unsolicited offer to acquire RepublicServices by 9% to $37.00 per share. This is also a torpedo againstRepublic’s $6+ Billion deal to acquire Allied Waste Industries Inc.(NYSE: AW).
Regardless of how these mergers actually go, Mr. Gates may have wiggledhis way into a garbage, trash, and waste management monopoly after thedust settles. Who knows, he might even get involved in the merger anddemand that his shares convert to new stock in the garbage monopolyrather than just taking the cash back if that pans out.
Don’t forget to check out what his new best buddy Warren Buffett is doing with his billions of Berkshire investment monies.
Jon C. Ogg
August 14, 2008