Gates Foundation Divests From McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Exxon

FEBRUARY 20, 2015

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation divested its investment portfolio of McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Exxon Mobil stock worth a total of $2.7 billion in the final quarter of 2014, Bloomberg reports.

According to a regulatory filing, the Gates Foundation Asset Trust, which manages the foundation’s $42.3 billion investment portfolio, sold 10.9 million shares in McDonald’s valued at $1 billion, 21.4 million shares in Coca-Cola valued at $914.2 million, and 8.1 million shares in Exxon Mobil valued at $765.9 million.

However, the Chicago Tribune reports that the trust continues to hold more than three million shares in Arcos Dorados, which operates McDonald’s restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean and is the world’s largest single McDonald’s franchisee.

A spokesperson for the Gates Foundation told Bloomberg the trust doesn’t comment on investment decisions or holdings. The foundation’s 2013 investment policy states that in instructing their investment managers, the Gateses consider “issues beyond corporate profits, including the values that drive the foundation’s work” and “areas in which the endowment will not invest, such as companies whose profit model is centrally tied to corporate activity that they find egregious.”

Last June, the trust sold its entire stake in G4S Plc, a British security services provider that was criticized for its contracts with prisons in Israel.