Shares in Alaska Air rise on word of Gates' stake in carrier

Posted: Friday, October 27, 2000

SEATTLE (AP) -- Shares in Alaska Air Group rose nearly 10 percent on Friday after it was revealed that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates owns 1.4 million shares of the group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.

The stock closed Friday up $2.13 to $24.63 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Gates' shares represent a 5.3 percent stake in the company and are worth more than $31.4 million.

His holdings were declared in a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Alaska Air Group shares had been trading at $21.44 Thursday morning, but by the end of the day were up to $22.31.

The Seattle-based airline's stock had been dropping this year as Alaska Airlines struggled with operational problems related to government scrutiny after the January crash of Flight 261, in which 88 people died.

It's not known how long Gates has owned the stock or how much he paid for the shares. The holdings were disclosed on a form called Schedule 13G, used only when there is no intent of acquiring controlling interest.

Gates also has bought shares in such low-profile companies as Schnitzer Steel Industries, a scrap-metal recycler in Portland, Ore., and Castle & Cooke, a Los Angeles-based real estate developer that owns the Hawaiian resort where he and his wife were married.

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