Expedia adds to Gates's net worth

Microsoft investors and top executives Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer see riches from the online travel site's sucessful IPO.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto
And the rich get richer.

When online travel site Expedia launched its successful IPO today, Microsoft investors found they are indirectly a little bit richer. The software giant owns an 86.4 percent stake of Expedia, which is newly valued at $1.76 billion.

Gates holds a 15.3 percent stake in Microsoft, according to the company's September 28 proxy statement. That makes his Expedia stake worth $269 million.

And Microsoft president Steve Ballmer, who holds a 4.7 percent stake in Microsoft, finds his Expedia stake worth about $83 million.

Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen didn't make out too badly, either. His indirect stake in Expedia was valued at $90 million--based on his 5.1 percent stake in Microsoft. (Allen's Vulcan Ventures is an investor in CNET.)

But for Microsoft investors, their windfall may seem rather small. For each share of Microsoft held--there was 5.14 billion shares outstanding as of September 10--investors will find themselves 34 cents better off.

Of course, any gains Microsoft and Gates have reaped from Expedia's success pale in comparison to the damage caused by last week's harsh decision by a federal judge.

Prior to U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's finding of fact, in which he called Microsoft an abusive monopolist, the company's shares were trading at 91.56. That gave the company a market capitalization of $472 billion, with Bill Gates's stake worth $72.2 billion.

Today, the shares closed at 87.13, trimming $22 billion from the company's market value and about $3.3 billion from Gates's personal fortune.