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February 18, 2015

Gates Foundation Divests From McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Exxon

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has dropped its investments in McDonald's Corp., Coca-Cola Co., and Exxon Mobil Corp., selling nearly $2.7-billion worth of shares in the three companies in the last quarter of 2014, Bloomberg reports. The transactions were revealed in filings by the Gates Foundation Asset Trust, the money manager for the world's largest philanthropy.

A foundation spokesman said the trust does not comment on investment decisions. A policy statement on the foundation's website states that it does not put money into firms that engage in activity it finds "egregious," listing tobacco stocks and investments in Sudan as examples. Last year the trust sold its stake in G4S, a British security-services firm criticized by human-rights activists for its contracts with Israeli prisons in the Palestinian territories.