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Bill Gates gives 14.1 million CN shares to soon-to-be ex-wife

CN shares are worth about $1.5 billion, according to media reports

Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates is giving soon-to-be ex-wife Melinda Gates 14.1 million shares of Canadian railway CN (NYSE: CNI), according to a Monday filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and various news reports.

Bill and Melinda Gates announced the end of their 27-year marriage via Twitter on Monday. 

According to the Monday filing, Bill Gates owned 87.3 million shares through Cascade Investment, Gates’ holding company. He jointly owned with Melinda Gates through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust an additional 13.9 million shares. 

CN’s 2021 management circular dated March 9 describes Bill Gates as having 14% of CN’s shares or 16% of CN’s shares including the trust. Through Cascade, Bill Gates is considered CN’s largest shareholder.

The Financial Post estimates that the CN shares given to Melinda Gates are worth about $1.5 billion. Bill Gates also gave her 2.9 million shares of AutoNation, worth about $310 million, putting the total given to Melinda Gates at more than $1.8 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Joanna Marsh

Joanna is a Washington, DC-based writer covering the freight railroad industry. She has worked for Argus Media as a contributing reporter for Argus Rail Business and as a market reporter for Argus Coal Daily.