While most billionaires have a singular focus in growing their companies, they at times also invest in companies not related to their fields—often to fuel a passion or diversify their investments and reduce risks.
Here are a few of the lesser-known investments of some world-famous billionaires.
Jeff Bezos: Washington Post
Though most of Bezos’ wealth comes from Amazon.com, he is also the owner of The Washington Post newspaper, which he bought in 2013 for about $250 million. Before that the Post had been owned by the Graham family for 80 years. He bought the newspaper in his personal capacity and it was not a part of Amazon.
Bill Gates: Four Seasons
Bill Gates, through his investment vehicle, Cascade, is among the largest shareholder in the Four Seasons hotel chain. Over the years Gates has divested his stake in Microsoft and channeled the proceeds towards his charity, as well as other investing. Gates currently only owns about 1% of Microsoft.
Larry Ellison: Tesla
Oracle Corp founder Larry Ellison owns about $1 billion worth of Tesla stock, making him the second largest individual shareholder in the company after the company’s founder and CEO, Elon Musk. Ellison is also a board member of Tesla.
Mukesh Ambani: Network 18
Though Mukesh Ambani’s fortune mainly comes from petrochemicals and Telecom, in 2014 he bought the Network 18 TV channels, including CNBC TV18, the websites: firstpost.com and moneycontrol.com, and magazines including the license for Forbes India. He paid about $730 million for the company.
Steve Ballmer: Los Angeles Clippers Basket Ball Team
Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 as employee No. 30 after dropping out of Stanford's MBA program. He led the company from 2000 to 2014. In 2014, soon after retiring from Microsoft, he bought the Los Angeles Clippers Basket Ball Team for $2 billion.