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Bill Gates buys stake in Spanish builder

The purchase makes Bill Gates the third-largest shareholder in the company.

The purchase makes Bill Gates the third-largest shareholder in the company.

LONDON — Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft Corp., has purchased a 6 percent stake in the Spanish builder Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, known as FCC, becoming the latest investor to make a bet on the recovery of the Spanish economy.

An entity controlled by Gates, one of the world’s richest men and the software giant’s chairman, paid $155.2 million for a stake in FCC, which is based in Barcelona, the company said in a statement.

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The entity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,
a charitable organization that is financed in part by a trust that manages donated investment assets from Gates and his wife, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

According to Bloomberg News, the purchase makes Gates the third-largest shareholder in FCC.

The share purchase by Gates comes following comments this summer by Spain’s government that the country had exited a two-year recession and was facing a challenging but improved outlook for its economy in the coming months.

The improved sentiment has been followed by several deals in Spain recently.

Last month, the private equity firm TPG agreed to acquire a 51 percent stake in the real estate services arm of the Spanish financial services firm La Caixa.

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And a unit of the private equity investor Apollo Global Management purchased the EVO Banco branch system of Spanish bank NCG Banco for $82 million in September.

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