Feeds

Bill Gates slurps bigger share of Olympics bungle-boys G4S

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

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.