Spanish infrastructure group Fomento de Construcciones & Contratas disclosed in a regulatory filing on Oct. 21 that Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, has taken a 6 percent stake in the company for €113.5 million ($155 million). The investment in Barcelona-based FCC is one of the few Gates has made outside North America. It was made by “one or more entities” related to Gates, according to the filing. Representatives of Kirkland (Wash.)-based Cascade Investment, Gates’s main investment vehicle, couldn’t immediately be reached.
Gates isn’t the only investor prospecting in Spain as the country struggles to pull out of economic crisis. Spain last year was the world’s 14th-ranked destination for foreign direct investment, with a total $28 billion in inward flows, more than either India or France. Mergers and acquisitions are on the upswing. According to Ernst & Young, the value of Spanish M&A deals rose 108 percent last year, compared with a 4 percent decline in the value of deals across the euro zone.