Microsoft founder and the third richest person in the world Bill Gates has entered a bidding war worth £3bn to purchase the largest private jet operator of the world even as gates also prepared to publish a new book titled ‘How to Avoid a Climate Disaster’.
Much of the $134bn personal wealth of Gates is managed by the fund Cascade Investment. It had now joined hands with a United States based private equity firm Blackstone for entering into the bidding process for Signature Aviation, the British private jet operator, Cascade Investment has announced recently.
It was just hours before the bid offer from the Cascade and Blackstone joint venture for the British firm Signature that a bid for the same company was also placed by rival US private equity firm Carlyle. The British firm handles more than 1.6m private jet flights a year.
With a total of 19 per cent stake, Cascade is already the largest investor in Signature.
The regular private jet travels undertaken by Gates, he is considered to be one of the biggest “super-emitters” of the world according to a study conducted by academics at Lund University. According to the report, Gates travelled more than 200,000 miles in a total of 59 flights on personal jets in a year. The report estimated that amount of personal travel by Gates in a private jet resulted in total emission of about 1,600 tonnes of carbon dioxide in a year. In comparison, the global average per capita emission is only less than five tonnes annually. Compared to commercial jets, about 40 times more carbon dioxide is emitted per person for every private jet, researchers have found.
Ironically, the report noted, that Gates said in the foreword of the book that a decade has been spent by him to investigate the causes and effects of climate change. There are no known comments in the media available from Gates on the research report and about his views on the huge carbon footprint that is left by people travelling in private jest.
Owning and travelling on private planes was his “guilty pleasure”, the billionaire has previously said. “Owning a plane is a guilty pleasure. Warren Buffett called his the Indefensible. I do get to a lot of places for Foundation work I wouldn’t be able to go to without it,” he had said in a Reddit Ask Me Anything in 2014.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)