Microsoft Corporation boss Bill Gates has taken a stake in Fomento Economico Mexicano (FEMSA), according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Gates' Cascade Investment LLC fund now owns a stake of the Mexican brewer equivalent to 10.81m of FEMSA's New York-traded American depositary shares, worth a reported US$392m, the SEC filing said yesterday (20 December). The stake equates to around 3% of FEMSA.

Company president Jose Antonio Fernandez said: "This type of decision on the part of large investment funds is a show of recognition and confidence in our company's performance."

The filing added that "each ADS represents 10 BD units, each consisting of one Series B share, two Series D-B shares and two Series D-L shares and showed that Gates owns a 1.2% stake in FEMSA's Series B shares, a 5% stake in Series D-B shares, and a 5% stake in Series D-L shares".

FEMSA, which produces the lagers Sol, Dos Equis, Bohemia, Tecate and Carta Blanca, has three divisions including a soft drinks unit, Coca-Cola FEMSA, a beer subsidiary, and a Latin American store chain called Oxxo.