By Theo Francis 

Bill Gates has transferred more than $850 million in shares of Deere & Co. to Melinda French Gates, bringing the total value of publicly disclosed transfers to more than $3 billion since the couple filed for divorce on May 3.

The 2.25 million shares, about 7% of Mr. Gates's stake in the Moline, Ill., equipment manufacturer, were transferred on Thursday and reported late Friday evening by the billionaire and his investment vehicle, Cascade Investment LLC. The filing said Mr. Gates received no consideration for the shares.

In the securities filing, Mr. Gates indicated he made the disclosure because he and Cascade control more than the 10% stake that triggers a reporting requirement. After the transfer, Mr. Gates and Cascade still owned nearly 29.3 million shares, or 9.3% of the company, they reported.

A spokesman for Cascade had no immediate comment.

Earlier this month, Mr. Gates transferred stakes in a Coca-Cola bottler, a Canadian railroad, AutoNation Inc. and other companies valued at nearly $2.4 billion to Ms. French Gates, as two of the world's richest people began dividing their wealth.

Securities-disclosure experts say Mr. Gates and Ms. French Gates might well have divided up other stakes in publicly and closely held companies without having to make public disclosures. The couple's net worth is about $130 billion, according to an estimate from Forbes.

Write to Theo Francis at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 18, 2021 13:31 ET (17:31 GMT)

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