The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust Owned $407 Million Worth of BP At End of First Quarter





-- British Petroleum - BP - 3 month chart - June 2010 --Of the 97 hedge funds, foundation trusts, endowments and other assorted companies that we track in our database, nobody owned more shares of BP plc than the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust at the end of the first quarter of 2010.

Here is a list of the funds that we track that had some exposure to BP at the end of Q1/2010:

ADAGE CAPITAL PARTNERS GP LLC (124,300 shares)
Aletheia Research and Management, Inc. (185,489 shares)
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust (7,133,000 shares)
Calamos Advisors LLC (800,000 shares)
CAXTON ASSOCIATES LP (38,472 shares)
CITADEL ADVISORS LLC (24,895 shares)
DEFIANCE ASSET MANAGEMENT LLC (87,975 shares)
DELAWARE MANAGEMENT BUSINESS TRUST (2,828,640 shares)
Fortis Investment Management (4,321 shares)
GATEWAY INVESTMENT ADVISERS LLC (19,191 shares)
GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC (6,695,882 shares)
MILLENNIUM MANAGEMENT LLC (62,219 shares)
SAC Capital Advisors LP (8,411 shares)
TWO SIGMA INVESTMENTS LLC (232,562 shares)
UBS OCONNOR LLC (268,700 shares)

As you can see, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust (7,133,000 shares) and Goldman Sachs Group INC (6,695,882 shares) had the greatest exposure to BP as of 03/31/2010.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust manages billions of dollars for Bill & Melinda Gates. The point of the trust is to generate a decent return so that the money in the Trust (which is a charitable organization) can be maximized and put to good use. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust has a number of noble goals including halting the spread of certain diseases throughout the world and helping to reduce poverty.

While Bill Gates does not actively manage the money in the fund, he does provide "high level direction".

Anyways, at the end of Q1/2010, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust owned 7,133,000 shares of BP, which was worth a total of $407,800,000 at the end of the quarter.

The Trust, which was the victim of some very bad timing, decided to increase their stake from 4,633,000 shares in Q4/2009 to 7,133,000 shares in Q1/2010.

At the end of Q1/2010, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust had around $12.6 billion invested in Section 13(f) securities.

The trust's investment in BP made up a relatively small % of this number (3.2% or so), but the recent massive downswing for the stock has certainly stung the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust.

Let's break out the calculators for a second.

At the end of the first quarter, BP was trading for around $57 per share.

Since then, the company has been hammered from every conceivable direction thanks to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig and MASSIVE environmental disaster that has resulted from the subsequent oil spill.

The stock has taken an absolute beating as the company has been unable to close off the leak, resulting in continuing damage to the environment. BP's stock took another nosedive earlier today after the US Justice Department announced that they had opened criminal and civil investigations into the spill.

The stock, which was trading at $57 a few short months ago, is now trading at around $36.50 per share.

After accounting for dividend payouts, this means that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust has lost nearly $150 million on their investment in BP over just the past couple of months.

There are many people throughout the world who are currently pissed at BP, and you can certainly count Bill & Melinda Gates as two of them.





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