The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sold all of its Apple and Twitter shares – likely worth around $140 million – just before the couple announced their divorce.
Regulatory filings show how the foundation of Microsoft founder Bill and his wife of 27 years, Melinda, got rid of one million shares in Apple by the end of March. The foundation also sold all of its 272,420 shares in the social media site Twitter.
Although the foundation doesn’t fuel the couple’s personal wealth, the sales come as they’re dividing up their personal fortune, with Bill having already transferred around $3 billion worth of stock into Melinda’s name.
The couple didn’t have a prenuptial agreement. Bill Gates is worth around $127 billion, according to the latest tally by Forbes. The foundation, meanwhile, is the world’s largest, with an endowment of more than $50 billion.
It isn’t clear why the foundation would have sold out of all of its Apple and Twitter shares, which was first reported by Barron’s. The foundation hasn’t commented. DailyMail.com has contacted the foundation for comment.
The sales could have simply been the normal repositioning of any investor as Apple has underperformed the broader stock market – falling 8 percent in the first quarter while the S&P 500 index added 5.8 percent. Twitter, however, rose 17.5 percent in the first quarter.
The filings, made with the Securities and Exchange Commission, don’t give a specific date for the sales – only that they happened sometime in the first quarter.
Based on Tuesday’s prices, the Gates Foundation shares would be worth around $140 million. Twitter stood at $56.89 a share Tuesday morning; Apple $126.80.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sold all its Apple and Twitter shares – worth hundreds of millions – just before the couple, pictured, announced their divorce
Bill’s stock transfers to Melinda
Canadian National Railway: 1.9% stake worth $1.55 billion
Deere & Co: 0.7% stake valued at $850 million
AutoNation: 3.7% stake worth $307 million
Coca-Cola Femsa SAB: 4.9% stake worth about $121 million
Grupo Televisa SA: 4.9% stake worth about $121 million
The foundation’s sales come as the couple has been repositioning its massive personal portfolio as Bill has been transferring stock to Melinda.
As for the foundation, filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show it has reinvested the money gained by selling the Apple and Twitter shares by buying 5.7 million shares in South Korean e-commerce company Coupang.
The foundation has not commented on the decision to offload the shares but Bill has disclosed personal stock transfers to Melinda worth roughly $3 billion since news of their divorce first broke in early May.
Last week it was reported Bill had given Melinda $850 million worth of shares in Deere & Co.
The transfer of 2.25 million shares in the company, which makes the iconic John Deere tractors, was disclosed in a regulatory filing with the Securities Exchange Commission.
The filing said that Bill received ‘no consideration’ for the transfer of shares to Melinda, which represented about 7 percent of his total stake in Deere & Co.
Since the couple announced their divorce on May 3, Bill has disclosed stock transfers including shares of AutoNation and Canadian National Railway.
Melinda is also now one of the largest individual shareholders in two Mexican companies, bottler Coca-Cola Femsa SAB and and cable company Grupo Televisa SA.
Bill and Melinda reportedly have no prenuptial agreement, but reached a separation settlement before making their split public.
With a fortune valued at about $127 billion on Tuesday, Bill is the forth richest man in the world, after Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, according to Bloomberg.
Following news of the split, reports emerged that Bill had inappropriately pursued women who worked for him at Microsoft and his namesake philanthropic foundation while he was married.
The reports from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal detailed Gates’ alleged behavior toward women, ranging from a full-blown affair at Microsoft to asking out women who felt uncomfortable with his advances at both institutions.
Scrutiny has also been growing over his close relationship with sex predator Jeffrey Epstein, from whom he allegedly sought marital advice.
Melinda, who now goes by Melinda French Gates, was also upset at the way allegations of sexual harassment against Michael Larson, one of Gates’ key lieutenants and the manager of his personal fortune, were handled.
Filings first reported by Barrons show how Microsoft founder Bill and his wife of 27 years Melinda got rid of one million shares in Apple by the end of March
The couple also sold 270,000 shares in the social media site Twitter
Filings Securities and Exchange Commission show that they have reinvested by buying 5.7 million shares in South Korean e-commerce company Coupang
Microsoft said it hired a law firm in late 2019 to conduct an investigation after a Microsoft engineer alleged in a letter that she had a sexual relationship with Gates over several years.
Gates’ private office spokesperson called it ‘an affair almost 20 years ago which ended amicably.’
Microsoft in March 2020 announced Gates was leaving the board to ‘dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities’ but would continue to serve as a technology adviser to CEO Satya Nadella and other Microsoft leaders.
Gates’ spokesperson said the investigation did not force him off the board and that he had for years planned to spend more time on his philanthropy.
‘It is extremely disappointing that there have been so many untruths published about the cause, the circumstances and the timeline of Bill Gates´ divorce,’ the spokesperson told the Times.
Last week it was reported Bill had given Melinda $850 million worth of shares in Deere & Co. The transfer of 2.25 million shares in the company, which makes the iconic John Deere tractors, was disclosed in a regulatory filing on Friday with the SEC
The divorce petition Melinda filed on May 3, the same day she and Bill publicly announced their split, called the marriage ‘irretrievably broken.’
The petition indicated that the couple had reached a ‘separation contract’ outlining how they planned to divide their estate – which includes properties in five states, a private jet, an astonishing art collection and a fleet of luxury cars.
Melinda did not ask for any spousal support but requested a trial date in April 2022. However, it is likely the divorce will be settled without a trial.
Legal experts have also said she could use her blockbuster divorce to increase her three children’s inheritance from the $10million her estranged husband publicly vowed to give each of them.
Bill has already sold off or donated most of his stock in Microsoft, which he co-founded, but still owns at 1.3 percent stake valued at about $25 billion.
His investments in other companies are managed though his investment firm Cascade LLC, which disclosed the transfers to Melinda in regulatory filings.
Bill Gates is seen in public for the first time since announcing his divorce from Melinda as he flies into NYC and hits Manhattan – and is STILL wearing his wedding ring
Bill Gates has been pictured out in public for the first time since announcing his divorce from Melinda, with his wedding ring still in pride of place on his left hand ring finger.
The Microsoft founder, 65, was spotted in Manhattan on Saturday, after flying into Newark Airport in New Jersey the day before with several travel companions in tow, including a woman believed to be his youngest daughter Phoebe, 18, and her boyfriend Chaz Flynn.
Gates was beaming ear to ear sporting an unshaven beard and no face covering, after New York lifted its mask mandate, his divorce proceedings seeming far from his mind. But he still sported his wedding ring prominently on his left hand.
Bill and Melinda, 56, shocked the world earlier this month when they announced they were divorcing after 27 years together.
Gates and his daughter were also joined by a large security detail for the meal at Nobu. Gates turned up with five vehicles at the midtown restaurant Saturday afternoon
Gates dressed in casual gear for the meal at the upmarket restaurant, while a young woman believed to be his daughter Phoebe opted for a short polkadot dress and sneakers
The unshaven Gates had a mask ready to put on upon entering the restaurant, while a young man believed to be his daughter Phoebe’s boyfriend masked up
Gates and his estranged wife Melinda announced earlier this month they were getting a divorce, but he was still sporting a wedding ring during his trip to Nobu Saturday afternoon
The couple have three adult children: Jennifer, 25, Rory, 21, and Phoebe, who appeared to be the young woman spotted with him disembarking the plane in Newark on Friday.
The group then boarded a helicopter presumably bound for Manhattan, where he was spotted heading to lunch with his pals the following day.
On Saturday, Gates was seen going to have a meal at Nobu, in New York City, with what appeared to be his daughter Phoebe and her boyfriend, and a large security detail.
He was still wearing his wedding ring.
Since news of the split broke, Gates has been rocked by claims of inappropriate behavior during his time at Microsoft as well as questions surrounding his friendship with late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Prior to his arrival into Newark, he was thought to be holing up at an exclusive golf club in California where he owns a mansion.
Two weeks on from the divorce announcement, Gates first came out of hiding as he landed into Newark Airport Friday.
He was seen disembarking his private jet, sporting a grey long-sleeved polo, dark trousers and his signature dark-rimmed glasses.
Gates headed down the steps maskless before putting on a matching grey check face mask as he reached the tarmac.
The father-of-three had something of an entourage with him including a teen thought to be Phoebe, who looked ready for the late spring sunshine in a dazzling red crop top and skirt co-ord.
The formerly blonde 18-year-old had her dark hair tied back and donned a white face mask and sneakers.
The couple are pictured with their three kids Jennifer (center), Rory (right) and Phoebe (left) in 2019. Since news of the split broke, Gates has been rocked by claims of inappropriate behavior during his time at Microsoft
She was followed closely behind by a young male in a white hoody, thought to be her boyfriend Chaz.
The young couple are thought to have started dating in mid-2019 and Phoebe often shares images of them together on her Instagram.
The trio were also joined by a brunette woman dressed in dark office wear and carrying a large briefcase and a white-haired man in glasses, a check shirt and a bodywarmer.
The group then headed across the tarmac toward a helicopter.
Then on Saturday, Gates sported black dress socks with sneakers and shorts, paired with a casual grey polo shirt as he walked to lunch with his companions.
Gates hasn’t been seen in public since he and Melinda announced their split back on May 3, other than to appear at a virtual event with the US Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.
The 65-year-old was also seen sporting his wedding band during that appearance.
It was not clear where he was during the Zoom call but he is understood to have been staying at the exclusive golf complex The Vintage Club in Indian Wells, California, for the last three months.
The Vintage Club costs $250,000 to join. It boasts a spa, restaurants and two 18-hole golf courses, dubbing itself ‘one of the United States’ most prestigious’ golf clubs.
Other members include Charles Koch and Dennis Washington.
Gates bought a home there in 1990 for $12.5 million. That is said to have six bedrooms and nine bathrooms.
Melinda and Bill have given no details about their split, but Melinda wrote that the marriage is ‘irretrievably broken’ in divorce filings.
She is said to have began consulting divorce lawyers as far back as October 2019.