Bill Gates slurps bigger share of Olympics bungle-boys G4S

Windows zillionaire slaps down £110m as security giant rebuilds dented rep


Bill Gates has bought a larger share of G4S, a private security giant that was widely criticised for its London Olympics blunders.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust and Cascade Investment, an asset management firm also owned by the billionaire Microsoft co-founder, now own a combined total of 3.2 percent of G4S after buying up 6 million shares - worth £110m ($171m) - last week.

The security goliath works in 125 countries around the world, running prisons, transporting cash and guarding sensitive stuff.

It was roundly slammed ahead of the London 2012 Olympics, when it failed to provide enough suitably trained staff to police the games, forcing the British Army to step in and cover the shortfall.

Chief executive Nick Buckles was then hauled up in front of a House of Commons select committee, where he agreed with Labour MP David Winnick's assertion that the Olympics security programme has been a "humiliating shambles". Buckles quit last month, prompting anger at his £1.2m pay off.

Gates boasts a diverse portfolio of investments, including the Canadian National Railway Company and Carpetright, the British carpet company.

His charity, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, works to tackle poverty and cure the world's nastiest diseases.

However, the news that Gates splashed his cash failed to rally the G4S stock price, which has fallen 18 percent in three months. At the end of the day yesterday, it had slipped a 1.2 percent to finish at 241.55 pence.

G4S recently provided security for the Bilderberg Fringe, a gathering of conspiracy-theory kings David Icke and Alex Jones and their disciples outside the controversial Bilderberg Group's shadowy get-together in Watford lsat weekend. El Reg was there - at the Fringe rather than actual meeting of world leaders - and heard various mutterings that the corporate guards were the footsoldiers of the New World Order and other such obviously true claims.

The security firm has long been the subject of various bananas theories, including one that suggests it is owned by the 4,500-year-old Queen of Sheba. El Reg is still fact-checking this allegation, although it appears that even the notoriously imaginative Alex Jones doesn't even give it credence. ®


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