Gates Foundation Sells Stake in U.K. Prison Operator G4S
By Tom Metcalf 2014-06-06T16:46:06Z
The Gates Foundation Asset Trust, the entity that manages the investments for the $40.2 billion Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has liquidated its entire stake in G4S Plc (GFS), the world’s biggest security-services provider.
“Like other large foundations, the foundation trust evaluates its holdings regularly, both for performance and fit,” John Pinette, a spokesman for the Gates family, said in a statement. “As a result of this, the foundation trust no longer holds an investment in G4S.”
The Crawley, England-based company has attracted criticism for its contracts with the Israel prison system. The U.K.’s Guardian newspaper said in an editorial on June 4 that G4S should “end the corporation’s participation in Israel’s brutal occupation” in the West Bank.
Since 2011, G4S has conducted a series of reviews in relation to its business in Israel, according to the company’s website. Its latest investigation concluded there was “no plausible case against G4S on the ground of alleged war crimes commited by Israel.”
A regulatory filing on May 28 showed that the stake, held by the trust and Bill Gates’s investment company, Cascade Investment LLC, had fallen below three percent. The billionaire’s stake was first disclosed last June, when Cascade’s holding crossed the 3 percent threshold for the first time.
Adam Mynott, a spokesman for G4S, declined to comment.
Gates oversees an $81.7 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is almost $14 billion richer than Mexico’s Carlos Slim, the world’s second richest person.
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June 12, 2014
Dear BDS Supporter,
Victory!! Thanks to pressure from human rights activists, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has sold all $172 million dollars worth of its shares in the private security company G4S, the largest private military and security company in the world!
G4S installs and runs the security systems at Israeli jails and checkpoints. Human rights organizations have documented widespread torture occurring in Israeli prisons.
On April 17, ahead of of Palestinian Prisoner’s Day, CODEPINK joined with Addameer Prisoner Support, Human Rights Association, War on Want, and over 100 Palestinian and international organizations, asking Bill Gates to divest from the British security company G4S. Thousands of people took action–– signing and delivering petitions and some protesting at a G4S shareholder meeting!
With a personal wealth of $76 billion dollars, Bill Gates was just named the richest man in the world. He shouldn’t be investing in torture and human rights abuses! Thanks to your help, we’ve achieved an amazing victory for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement. Our collective work is really making a difference.
In solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners,
Alli, Ashley, Farah, Ikram, Janet, Jodie, Lisa, Medea, Nancy, Sara, Sergei, Tighe
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] verizon.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs