New York: Bill Gates's Cascade Investment disposed of more than $1 billion worth of shares in Canadian National Railway Co. this week in a "private transaction," days after the Microsoft Corp. founder and Melinda French Gates finalized their divorce.
Cascade transferred ownership and control of more than 9.5 million shares for no consideration, according to a statement Friday from the Kirkland, Washington-based firm. The announcement didn't specify who received the shares.
A spokeswoman for French Gates and a Cascade representative didn't immediately return requests for comment.
Gates's investment office, which is run by Michael Larson, still owns 11% of the Canadian railroad company, worth about $8.5 billion. Cascade had already shrunk its ownership after transferring 14.1 million shares of Canadian National to French Gates, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing dated May 3, the same day the Gateses announced they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage.
Following the announcement, French Gates, 56, received other shares from Cascade, totaling more than $3 billion, a fraction of their $146 billion fortune at the time. There haven't been any public transfers since. The dissolution of their marriage, filed on Monday, said there was a separation agreement, without disclosing terms.
Bill Gates, 65, is worth $152 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. This week he spoke publicly about the divorce and his relationship with late pedophile conman Jeffrey Epstein, whose relationship with Gates may have caused strife in the latter's marriage, according to the New York Times.
"I had several dinners with him hoping that what he said about getting billions of philanthropy for global health through contacts that he had might emerge, and when it looked like it wasn't a real thing that relationship ended," Gates told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an interview. "It was a huge mistake to spend time with him, to give him the credibility of being there."
Gates also said that he is still in contact with French Gates because they will continue to work together at their $65 billion foundation. Last month, the foundation said French Gates might step down from her roles there if the ex-couple can no longer work together. Gates said he hopes that doesn't happen.
"Melinda has incredible strengths that she brings," Gates said.