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Gates Opens Stake in Home Depot

Bill Gates is increasing his investments in pharmaceutical firms and took a piece of Home Depot, too.

InformationWeek Staff

August 16, 2002

2 Min Read

WASHINGTON--Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' investment vehicle, Cascade Investment LLC, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation continued their recent acquisitions of stocks in the medical industry, according to a regulatory filing Wednesday.

In terms of number of shares purchased, the three largest additions to existing stakes in the second quarter were all in pharmaceutical companies.

Gates bought another 2,589,000 shares of Eli Lilly & Co., raising his holdings to 2,775,000 shares worth $154.5 million on June 30.

He also acquired an additional 1,339,000 shares of Merck & Co., bringing his stake to 2,698,000 shares valued at $136.6 million, as well as 1,202,000 shares of Pfizer Inc. for holdings of 2,242,000 shares worth $78.5 million.

Gates added to his holdings in other medical companies during the second quarter as well, buying 293,000 shares of Abbott Laboratories, 335,000 shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., 328,000 shares of Icos Corp., 600,000 shares of Johnson & Johnson, 256,000 shares of Pharmacia Corp., 274,000 shares of Schering-Plough Corp., and 251,000 shares of Wyeth.

On June 30, Gates owned 554,000 shares of Abbott Labs worth $20.9 million, 660,000 shares of Bristol-Myers valued at just under $17 million, 5,359,501 shares of Icos worth $90.9 million, 1,090,000 Johnson & Johnson shares valued at just under $57 million, 466,000 Pharmacia shares worth $17.5 million, 514,000 shares of Schering-Plough worth $12.6 million, and 476,000 Wyeth shares valued at $24.4 million.

Outside the medical-product area, Gates' largest addition to an existing stake in the second quarter was the purchase of 930,000 S&P Depositary Receipts, or SPDRs.

On June 30, Gates owned 1,430,000 of these securities valued at $141.5 million.

The firm opened stakes in three companies during the second quarter: 425,000 shares in Cardinal Health Inc. valued at $26.1 million; 455,700 shares of Fisher Communications Inc. worth $26.8 million; and 1 million shares in Home Depot valued at $36.7 million.

Cardinal Health provides products and services to health-care providers and manufacturers. Fisher Communications is a communications and media company. Home Depot is a home-improvement retailer.

According to the filing, Gates didn't make any sales during the second quarter.

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