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Bill Gates firm transfers $2 billion worth blue chip shares to Melinda

Bill Gates firm transfers $2 billion worth blue chip shares to Melinda

Cascade Investment, the holding company set up by Bill Gates, has transferred its shares in two of Mexico's largest companies to Melinda French Gates, bringing the total amount she's received after her divorce announced this week to more than $2 billion.

Cascade moved stock in Coca-Cola FEMSA and Grupo Televisa to her control, according to regulatory filings on May 3, the day the divorce was announced to end their 27-year-old marriage. Cascade shifted about $1.8 billion of shares in Canadian National Railway Co. and AutoNation Inc. this week to French Gates, according to a  Bloomberg report.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is worth $144.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. French Gates, 56, is a former Microsoft manager who married Gates in 1994.

Bill Gates's biggest asset is Cascade Investment, which he created with the proceeds of Microsoft stock sales and dividends. Cascade oversees a vast portfolio comprising real estate, energy and hospitality as well as stakes in dozens of public companies.

The biggest public position is agricultural-machinery maker Deere & Co., with Cascade holding more than 10% of the stock valued at about $12 billion, followed by an $11.8 billion stake in waste-collection company Republic Services Inc., Bloomberg data show. That's followed by Canadian National and Ecolab Inc.

It also owns shares in Diageo Plc, the world's largest distiller, and London-based private-jet services firm Signature Aviation Plc.

The Gates couple are also among the largest real estate owners in America which includes their 66,000 square-foot mansion in Washington.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given away more $50 billion to support healthcare, education, gender equality and efforts to combat climate change.