Gates Foundation sells stake in Britain's G4S

LONDON Sat Jun 7, 2014 1:28pm EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) co-founder Bill Gates has sold his entire stake in G4S Plc (GFS.L), the British security firm trying to bounce back from a series of scandals that have hurt its reputation and profits.

Cascade Investment, a firm owned by Bill Gates that manages assets exclusively for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, had last June disclosed a stake in G4S, when its holding crossed the 3 percent threshold for the first time.

A filing on May 28 showed the holding was reduced below 3 percent, and a spokesman for the Gates Foundation told Reuters on Saturday it no longer held any interest in G4S.

G4S declined comment.

G4S, which runs services such as cash transportation and prison management in more than 125 countries, is in the middle of overhauling its sprawling business, shaking up management, cutting costs, improving customer service and restructuring weak divisions to help revive its fortunes.

Having failed to provide enough security guards for the London 2012 Olympics, G4S suffered another scandal last July when, alongside rival Serco Group Plc (SRP.L), it was banned from new UK government work after being found to have charged for monitoring criminals who were dead, in prison or not tagged at all.

On Thursday G4S's own security guards ejected protesters from its annual shareholders' meeting, after they criticised the company's work in Israel, where it provides security at prisons and occupied Palestinian territories.

Gates's investments range from stakes in the Canadian National Railway Co (CNR.TO) to drinks group Diageo Plc (DGE.L).

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation works to eradicate the world's most deadly diseases and poverty.

(Reporting by Neil Maidment in London and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Editing by David Holmes and Sonya Hepinstall)

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Comments (2)
This story is a perfect example of why it’s important to maintain a solid distinction between, reporting and advertising. The truth about G4S is widely known and would be more stunning if their biggest clients weren’t Client-states such as Unraveling States of America & Not-So-Great Britian, etc. Ce’ la Guerre as the saying goes. I curious though, why didn’t the author of this piece mention the fact that another company owned by MacroHard the one that builds the video game machine X-box, uses a very special kind of rare silica that occurs in an African nation near the Congo? The area surrounding that mineral is controlled by a vicious war-toad who receives money from the sale of the mineral and uses that pile of money to purchase weapons & ammo to expand the area they control around the river from which Bill & Melinda Gate’s precious silica is washed and extracted. Using the barrel of a gun the little lord takes hostages from the surrounding community & using prison labor sifts the mineral out.
That would have expanded the readers understanding of the connection between G4S (G-force, as in Guns/Government force) and Bill Gates so-called foundation that apparently seeks to eradicate dissent around the world.
With the privilege of the 4th Estate comes responsibility. Please conduct yourselves and direct your staff accordingly.

Jun 07, 2014 2:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Neurochuck wrote:
Googled “g4s ukraine” and would you know:
“operations in more than 125 countries across six continents and over 650,000 employees. G4S is now in Ukraine!”
Welcome to the Free World.

Jun 07, 2014 9:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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