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Bill Gates Buys Into Six Flags

SEC documents reveal that Microsoft honcho Bill Gates bought up a big chunk of Six Flags corporate stock last month.

From Robert Niles
Posted August 20, 2002 at 3:27 PM
Fuel for the rumor fire, kids.

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates has bought up a load of Six Flags stock--8.6 percent of the company's common stock, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Gates made the purchase through his private investment company--Cascade Investment, L.L.C--and not through Microsoft. Which argues against this being the start of some Microsoft take-over of Six Flags.

Still, it is an interesting development, given the company's recent financial history.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Steve Carter
Posted August 20, 2002 at 5:07 PM
So......... Is this a good or bad thing?

From Robert Niles
Posted August 20, 2002 at 10:04 PM
It's almost always a good thing for a company when people are buying your stock.

That said, it gets bad if those people are buying because they want to butt-in and run your company. But Gates is a buddy of Warren Buffett, and, like Buffett, not known for using his investments as a way to undercut current management. Buffett has a reputation for finding companies that have strong, long-term markets and staying out of the way of management--so long as it knows what it is doing. Even then, the influence tends to be gentle and proactive. (Buffett's been a big Disney stakeholder over the years, and helped put together the deal to buy ABC.)

I'm trying to track down what plans, if any, Gates has for his investment in Six Flags.

From Carey Lynn Holtsclaw
Posted August 20, 2002 at 7:07 PM
Next Wal Mart will buy into the buisness.

From MICKY WINKS
Posted August 20, 2002 at 9:47 PM
if any one person could bail sixflags outta trouble it could be bill gates.

From Anonymous
Posted August 20, 2002 at 10:43 PM
Great now if Gate butts in there will be huge price hikes and the rides will only work 20% of the time just like Windows.

From Robert Niles
Posted August 20, 2002 at 11:19 PM
Just so long as that blasted paper clip doesn't follow me around the park, offering suggestions....

From Kevin Baxter
Posted August 21, 2002 at 12:19 AM
Now watch Windows bug us every day about buying frickin' Season Passes!

I can't figure out an angle for this. Unless Billy Boy plans on building an Xbox arcade in every SF park to fuel sales of his lagging game system, I can't see this as anything but an investment for him. Still, we all know how much evil lurks in the mind of that man.

From Robert Niles
Posted August 21, 2002 at 9:30 AM
Anything subconscious about your use of the phrase "Windows bug" there, Kevin? :-)

From Anonymous
Posted August 21, 2002 at 9:49 AM
We all know that Bill Gates is the poster boy for monoply inc. So if you hear in the new later on that Microsoft is taking over Six Flags Inc. Assets don't be suprised,But there would be something great about. It would be that eventually the of parks and there parent companies are going to file suits because of unfair business practices of Bill Gates & Microsoft's ownership of Six Flags Inc. and the monoply to prevent tourists from visiting the competitor's park.

From Reid Loveland
Posted August 21, 2002 at 10:01 AM
You're thinking of the old Windows Parks only operating 20% of the time. The new XP Theme Parks are 100 times more reliable, and no DOS utilidors are needed.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted August 21, 2002 at 2:26 PM
If they are 100 times more reliable, does that mean they work 30% of the time? 40%? How do you figure out the math for that??

"Windows bug!" LOL! Windows doesn't have bugs. It IS a bug! A dumb little cockroach that no one can kill!

From Shane Falcone
Posted August 21, 2002 at 6:35 PM
Microsof-Computer company
Six Flags-Amusment Parks

Stay in your own industry Gates

From Robert Niles
Posted September 1, 2002 at 11:23 AM
Gates has bought an additional stake in the company, according to the SEC, and now holds over 10 percent of Six Flags' stock.

From Jet Nitro
Posted September 1, 2002 at 9:56 PM
we can only hope he goes in for a hostile takeover of the company...The way the chain is running right now,theres no quality. I would certainly hope if gates company bought it ourright,they would go in and make the improvements that this chain needs(customer service,food,ect..)

From Anonymous
Posted October 24, 2002 at 5:08 AM
How about he's spends a crap load of money at Six Flags Darien Lake, cause we need it, Superman:ROS can't carry the park for another year

From Terry Fedigan
Posted October 26, 2002 at 12:58 PM
I definitely agree. It hasn't been that long since it opened, but they do need a new ROLLERCOASTER. Not a lousy flume ride. Darien Lake is probably one of the sappiest SF parks out there, and they need at least two more good coasters for it to be considered a good park.

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