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article imageBill Gates now largest CN Railway shareholder, owns $3.2 billion

By Andrew Moran     Apr 25, 2011 in Business
Montreal - Bill Gates, the multi-billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, is now the largest shareholder of Canadian National Railway Co. and now owns $3.2 billion. Since 2006, Gates has been increasing his involvement in the nation's biggest railway company.
Ahead of Tuesday’s general annual meeting, it was announced Monday that Bill Gates, the world’s second richest man, will become the largest shareholder of the Montreal-based CN Railway with a $3.2 billion stake, according to Maclean’s.
Gates will now own or control 10.04 percent of shares, which is based on Monday’s closing of $70.16 at the Toronto Stock Exchange. The internationally renowned philanthropist holds approximately more than 46 million shares through Cascade Investment.
“The only person who beneficially owns, or exercises control or direction over, directly or indirectly, shares carrying 10 per cent or more of the voting rights attached to any class of shares of the company is Mr. William H. Gates III,” said a company proxy circular, reports CBC News.
The Globe and Mail reports that Gates has been gradually increasing his stake in CN since 2006. It was noted in jest by Walter Spracklin, Royal Bank of Canada Dominion Securities Analyst, that Warren Buffett and Gates “are pretty good buddies. Mr. Buffett must have given a tip to buy railroads at one of their bridge games.”
CN 8880 rolls past Wood Street Crossing in Harvey
CN 8880 rolls past Wood Street Crossing in Harvey
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Early last year, Buffett acquired full control of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., a U.S.-based rail company. Other analysts also speculate that Gates’ attainment of Canada’s rail was due to the advice of Buffett.
On Tuesday, CN will disclose its first-quarter financial results, and many analysts expect its adjusted earnings will boost to 88 cents per share on $2.1 billion in revenues, according to the Canadian Press. The company’s market capitalization is $32 billion for its 458.6 million shares.
TechFlash notes that Gates now earns 70 percent of his wealth from investments, such as the Mexican stock market and Coca-Cola bottler, Femsa, other than Microsoft.
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