Bill Gates Enters The Carpet Business in UK
London, England, May 29, 2008--Microsoft founder Bill Gates is in the flooring business. His Cascade Investment has taken a 3 percent stake in Britain's Carpetright, which has been hard hit by the soft housing market there.
The investment is believed to have cost $29.6 million. The surprise purchase cheered investors, edging Carpetright's shares up as much as 3 percent, despite the gloom enveloping the retail sector.
Carpetright chairman and chief executive Lord Harris of Peckham - who abandoned plans for a management buyout in December - warned earlier this year that sales at the chain will suffer as the consumers rein in their spending.
Carpetright has more than 400 stores in the UK and Ireland.
The shares in the UK's largest floor coverings retailer have had a rough ride in the last six months in the wake of Lord Harris' failed takeover bid.