Bill Gates bought nearly $100 million worth of stock in Anheuser-Busch amid the backlash over the company's collaboration with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
The Microsoft founder's Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust purchased 1.7 million shares in the company, worth approximately $96.5 million, in the second quarter of 2023, according to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The brewing company's stock plummeted in April after it was revealed that one of its brands, Bud Light, partnered with Mulvaney. Mulvaney revealed the partnership on social media, showing a Bud Light can featuring the influencer's face. Mulvaney also posted a video drinking Bud Light in a bathtub. Conservatives launched a boycott of the company, resulting in Bud Light losing its status as America's top-selling beer in June. The next month, Anheuser-Busch laid off hundreds of employees, and one of its Bud Light distributors said it was unlikely that the brand's sales would recover.
The investment is not the first time Gates's foundation has made headlines this year.
In June, Gates announced a $50 million gift through his foundation to China's Tsinghua University, which conducts military research for the Chinese Communist Party and trains students for its nuclear weapons program. Gates met with Chinese dictator Xi Jinping days after announcing the grant, a meeting in which the autocrat called him "an old friend."