Twitter Stock- Bill and Melinda Gates sold off Apple and Twitter stock ahead of divorce announcement
Several weeks before they announced their divorce in early May, Bill and Melinda Gates’ foundation sold of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stocks in Apple and Twitter.
Barron’s reports that according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it sold all of its shares in the two tech giants by the end of March.
The charitable group also took a position in South Korean e-commerce company Coupang.
At the end of 2020, the Gates’ foundation owned one million Apple stocks, but all were gone by 31 March.
Barron’s notes that Apple stock has been underperforming the market, with shares sliding 8 per cent in the first quarter, and are up 2.7 per cent so far in the second quarter.
By comparison, the S&P 500 index rose 5.8 per cent in the first quarter, and has grown 4.6 per cent so far in the second quarter of 2021.
The trust also sold 272,420 Twitter shares in the first quarter, closing out its investment in the social media platform.
Twitter stock performed better than Apple, rising 17.5 per cent in the first quarter, but so far in the second quarter, it is down 14.4 per cent.
The foundation declined to comment on the stock trades to Barron’s.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has an endowment of nearly $50bn, and donates about $5bn annually to causes around the world. Last year, it donated $1bn to combat Covid-19 through the administering of vaccines.
In a statement after the Gates’s announced their divorce on Twitter the foundation said the two would remain co-chairs and trustees and that no changes in the organisation were planned.
“They will continue to work together to shape and approve foundation strategies, advocate for the foundation’s issues and set the organisation’s overall direction,” the foundation said.
Nevertheless, there are worries that the couple’s split could have an impact on not just the foundation, but the wider philanthropic world, given its size and influence.
Since they announced that they will be ending their marriage, approximately $4bn in stock has been transferred from Bill to Melinda.
The founder of Microsoft is still one of the richest people in the world. His net worth is estimated at $146bn.
With reports that there is no prenuptial agreement between them, they are said to be relying on a “separation contract” to divide up their assets.
Such a contract is much less formal than a prenuptial agreement, stipulating each side’s rights and obligations, and does not involve a court.
A prenuptial agreement is a contract specifically drawn up for use if a couple decides to divorce.
Mr Gates has found his reputation somewhat tarnished since the announcement of the divorce, with revelations about a workplace affair in the early 2000s coming to light.