Bill Gates’s Foundation Buys Almost $100M Into Bud Light’s Parent Company
Author: Alex Cooper
Bud Light’s parent company is getting a confidence boost from billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates’s foundation after the organization’s trust bought 1.7 million shares of Anheuser-Busch last quarter.
A regulatory filing valued the purchase at about $96 million.
The company has seen sales decline following its controversial handling of transphobic backlash against its partnership with trans model and influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
In late March, Bud Light sent a beer with Mulvaney’s name on it for her to promote. It resulted in Kid Rock taking a gun to a case of the beer, bars refusing to carry the beer, and more. The company ended up making an apology of sorts, which angered others who said Anheuser-Busch should have stood by Mulvaney.
The company at first issued a statement standing up for Mulvaney, but then Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth said in a press release, “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.” Anheuser-Busch also put out an ad showing stereotypical American scenes, not reflecting the nation’s diversity, and placed two marketing executives on leave, including the one who oversaw the partnership with Mulvaney.
Anheuser-Busch laid off about 380 workers amid declining sales in July.
Recently, Modelo overtook Bud Light in sales in grocery stores.
Mulvaney addressed the matter in an Instagram video in June. “I took a brand deal with a company that I loved,” she said, “and I posted a sponsored video to my page, and it must have been a slow news week because the way that this ad got blown up you would have thought that I was like on a billboard, on a TV commercial or something major. But no, it was just an Instagram video.”
The influencer has faced threats to her safety since the backlash.
“For a company to hire a trans person and then not publicly stand by them is worse, in my opinion, than not hiring a trans person at all,” she added. “To turn a blind eye and pretend everything is OK, it just isn’t an option right now.”
CNN reports that the foundation has already lost money over the investment. Anheuser-Busch’s stock is down almost 2 percent since the purchase. It’s down about 7 percent this year.
The outlet reports that this isn’t the first time Gates has purchased a beer company through the foundation’s trust. Though he’s admitted that he’s “not a big beer drinker,” Gates’s foundation bought about $1 billion worth of shares in Heineken’s parent company, Heineken Holding.
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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Alex Cooper