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Cascade transfers $300 million of AutoNation shares to Melinda Gates

Cascade Investment, a holding company Bill Gates created with the proceeds of Microsoft Corp. stock sales and dividends, transferred securities worth more than $1.8 billion to Melinda French Gates, a day after the pair announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage.

Melinda Gates is now the beneficial owner of 2.94 million shares in vehicle retailer AutoNation Inc., worth about $309 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing dated May 3. AutoNation ranked No. 1 on Automotive News’ latest list of the largest dealership groups based in the U.S., with new-vehicle sales in 2020 of 249,654 units.

Also transferred to her were 14.1 million shares of Canadian National Railway Co. worth about $1.5 billion.

Through Cascade, Gates has interests in real estate, energy and hospitality as well as stakes in dozens of public companies, including Deere & Co. and Republic Services Inc. The couple are also among the largest landowners in America.

Gates is worth $145.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Automotive News contributed to this report.

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