At the start of Spring 2023, Bud Light set off a chain of events that nearly destroyed the brand. New “woke” executives launched an ad campaign that saw transgender figure Dylan Mulvaney promote the once-all-American beer. Americans boycotted the brand and the parent company only made things worse by repeatedly apologizing… to the LGBT community.
An heir to the Anheuser-Busch fortune offered to buy back the company from its current Brazilian owners. But to our knowledge, they have not agreed. Instead, the company continues its pro-leftist agenda, even as the Bud Light brand remains hated by consumers. Now, an unexpected figure is wading into this mess. And he’s making a huge bet… which could sink him.
From Fox Business:
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, which manages the funds of the foundation the Microsoft co-founder still runs with his ex-wife, purchased 1.7 million shares of Anheuser-Busch last quarter, according to a regulatory filing. The transaction is valued at $95 million.
Now, this is interesting. Bill Gates, famed founder of Microsoft, has spent most of his time in recent years advocating for political causes, including climate change and global vaccinations. But, as Bud Light tanks InBev’s stock, his foundation just bought 1.7 million shares at a whopping $95 million.
What could Bill be up to? Why on earth does he want to buy shares of a failing brand? Perhaps he thinks this is the time to buy, with the stock value at a low. But that only makes sense if he expects the stock to climb back up.
Maybe he thinks people will forget that Bud Light insulted its customer base by calling them “frat boys” and potentially tried to market beer to minors by partnering with a social media figure (something that sparked a Senate probe). Even a former executive thinks this unwise of Gate.
From Fox Business:
“Bill Gates is definitely making a mistake,” former Anheuser-Busch executive Anson Frericks said. “Earlier this year, he already made a $900 million mistake when he invested into one of Anheuser-Busch’s largest rivals, Heineken. He did that earlier this year. And since that investment, Heineken’s down about 10%, whereas the broader markets are up 10%.”
Ouch. It doesn’t seem as if Bill Gates understands the beer market very well. But it’s possible he wants to get his foot in the door, to perhaps launch another plot. Does he plan a hostile takeover of the company? Does he want to use InBev and its brands to spread his vaccination ideology?
We have no idea. But this large investment is turning many heads.
- Bill Gates shocked the market by buying 1.7 million InBev stock.
- InBev, the owner of Bud Light, has seen its stocks plunge since the boycott.
- A former Anheuser-Busch executive said Gates is making a mistake.