The parent company of Bud Light is having a terrible year. Bill Gates’ foundation trust is one prominent investor who supports Anheuser-Busch, though.
According to a regulatory filing, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust purchased 1.7 million Anheuser-Busch shares last quarter for about $95 million, showing its trust in the brewer despite a sharp decline in sales of one of its most popular beers.
When A-B released earnings that fully reflected the effects of Bud Light’s participation with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, Gates’ foundation trust purchased the stock. Its choice to send her a personalised can caused a reaction against trans people and alienated some of the business’s main clients. The LGBTQ community was afterwards upset by the company’s subsequent response.
However, Gates’ trust has so far seen a loss on his investment: Since the transaction, A-B’s stock has decreased by almost 2%. For the year, the stock has decreased by around 7%.
A-B said last month that decreased sales of Bud Light led to a 10% decline in US revenue during the second quarter.
The company’s sales to US retailers decreased by 14%, falling short of the overall beer market, mostly because of the company’s decreased sales of Bud Light. In North America, revenue decreased $395 million during the period compared to the same period last year. This number showed sales in Canada, where revenue increased, indicating the United States was the only country seeing a decrease in sales.
A few weeks later, according to NIQ data, Modelo surpassed Bud Light in sales at grocery and beer stores, making this the first year-to-date victory for Modelo over Bud Light. Through August 12, Modelo held an 8.34% share of dollars spent on beer compared to 8.28% for Bud Light, but the difference was minor.
A-B also announced layoffs in its corporate ranks in July, affecting “less than 2%” (or roughly 380 employees) of its US employees.
Gates, who previously admitted that he is “not a big beer drinker,” has also acquired other beer brands through his trust. The foundation also invested in shares of Heineken Holding, the parent firm of the Dutch beer, earlier this year for close to $1 billion.
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