Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates made news in August when it was reported that he put almost $100 million into stock of the company that owns the decisively boycotted Bud Light, but the huge investment was a move a former executive of that very beer company thinks is a bad idea.
According to an Aug. 18 report by investor research company TipRanks, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust acquired 1,703,000 shares of Anheuser-Busch in the second quarter. According to a disclosure form, the total purchase was $96,594,160. With Anheuser-Busch closing at $56.22 on Friday, that’s worth about $95 million now.
The computer billionaire reportedly gobbled up the stock expecting the company to make a major comeback after the debilitating boycott of its Bud Light brand.
In a matter of only a few short months, a massive and almost entirely organic boycott leaped into being after Americans were turned off by the Muvaney partnership campaign coupled with the proclamation by Alissa Heinerscheid, the now-former Bud Light marketing vice president, that its customer base was “fratty” and “out-of-touch” and needed a makeover.
The losses have continued, Beer Business Daily publisher Harry Schuhmacher told Fox News on Friday.
“You see Bud Light still just stubbornly down around 30 percent in volume compared to last year, which is where it’s been since May or June,” Schuhmacher said. “That tells me that this is quasi-permanent, meaning those consumers are just lost forever.”
And it was reported that rival beer brand Modelo had surpassed Bud Light at grocery and alcohol stores.
Despite all that, Microsoft billionaire and nanny state advocate Bill Gates has jumped in to express his faith in the beer company.
But the faith is misplaced, according to Anson Frericks, former Anheuser-Busch president of operations, Fox News reported.
“Bill Gates is definitely making a mistake,” Frericks, now president of Strive Asset Management, said Wednesday on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.”
“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 percent, whereas the broader markets are up 10 percent.
“So, if I was looking for advice on investing to software companies, tech companies, I might go to Bill Gates. But if you’re looking at the beer industry, he doesn’t have a great track record of investing in winners at this point.”
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Frericks pointed out that it probably won’t much help Anheuser-Busch once people learn that Gates just poured tens of millions into the beer company’s stock as the idea of a Bill Gates investment won’t connect well with the “everyday” beer drinker.
“For the company’s sake, they’d probably be better off [with] maybe somebody who is more of, kind of the everyman type of person, maybe like a Rob Gronkowski or somebody like that was investing into Anheuser-Busch, not necessarily somebody like Bill Gates,” Frericks explained.
“That doesn’t really resonate with sort of that common man, that everyday Bud Light beer drinker,” he said.
Gates is known as an elitist who wants to force us all to eat fake meat, wants us all to be caught in a cycle of forever taking COVID-19 vaccines, and is infamous for championing socialist climate change policies.
But he isn’t known as the buddy you’d like to have a beer with.
Frericks has been critical of the Bud Light fiasco for some time, of course. He has said that Anheuser-Busch in general and its Bud Light division in particular has put politics over customers.
He also dinged Anheuser-Busch for failing to convince customers “who they are actually brewing their beer for” and not assuring beer fans that the company is concerned with the quality of its beer, not the quantity of its political proclamations.
But this is a problem in the greater corporate world, too.
“There’s one camp that says that Anheuser-Busch, they have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders and to take a look at just providing great products and services for their shareholders. That’s the camp that I am in,” Frericks told Fox.
“There’s another camp, this is in the BlackRock, State Street, Vanguard camp, that would have Anheuser-Busch focus on more stakeholders and stakeholder capitalism, having them not necessary focus on shareholders, but activists, political organizations, others,” he said.
To sum up, Frericks asked, “Is it just going to be [focused] on just serving great beer that’s cold, and it’s about football and backyard barbecues for customers? Or are they going to be getting involved in these political issues?”
That is just the question, isn’t it? For Target, for Bud Light, for Nike, and every other massive corporation out there today.
Are they interested in producing and selling their products, or in pushing radical, anti-American, left-wing political causes?
One thing is sure. The boycott laying Anheuser-Busch low is showing that Americans are getting sick and tired of corporate extremism.
CORRECTION, Sept. 11, 2023: While the Modelo beer brand is owned globally by Anheuser-Busch InBev, in the U.S. it is controlled by Constellation Brands under a 2013 antitrust settlement. An earlier version of this article inaccurately described the brand’s corporate structure.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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