Jason Plant sends –
Not sure if this has any implications, but whenever Bill Gates seems to be involved in something, it is not for the good of most of us.
Bill Gates buys £110m stake in security group G4S
Microsoft co-founder reveals 3% of security group which was criticised for chaotic Olympics performance
Bill Gates has bought a £110m stake in G4S, the security company trying to rebuild its reputation following its chaotic performance during the London 2012 Olympics.
Representatives of the Microsoft co-founder’s charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, met G4S and its then chief executive Nick Buckles seven months ago and expressed interest in the company. Buckles explained the company’s strategy to them, but there was no further contact until last weekend.
Then Gates’ investment group Cascade, which acts on behalf of the trust, told G4S it had bought around 6.5m shares taking its stake to 3.2%, just over the 3% threshold where it needs to be declared.
A spokesman for G4S said a meeting would be arranged in the coming weeks to discuss the investment.
The company’s strategy had been called into question by investors, with a failed bid in 2011 for Danish cleaning business ISS followed by its inability to supply enough security guards for the Olympics. Early last month the company warned profits would be below expectations, and shortly afterwards Buckles announced he was stepping down.
Last Thursday the new boss of G4S, Ashley Almanza, faced a barrage of questions over the security company’s business in Israel at his first meeting with shareholders.
G4S shares are currently 2.7p lower at 241.9p.
Among Cascade’s other investments are a number of companies in Washington State, as well as stakes in Diageo, Carpetright, Bunzl and Liberty Global.
One of its less successful forays was an investment in JJB Sports, the retailer which went into administration at the end of last year.
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