Why conspiracy theorists say they'll never drink Heineken again

Why conspiracy theorists say they'll never drink Heineken again
Bill Gates Buys 3.7 Percent Stake in Heineken

Heineken has found itself coming under fire from conspiracy theorists online after billionaire Bill Gates acquired a minority stake in the brewing giants.

According to Bloomberg, Gates recently spent $902 million to acquire 3.8 per cent of the second largest brewer in the world, Heineken Holding.

Gates has been the subject of multiple baseless conspiracy theories in the past (some so ridiculous than Gates himself has laughed at them) and it looks like things haven’t changed with his new purchase.

There have been all sorts of accusations levelled at him over recent years, including the theory which claims he has been putting microchips in the Covid-19 vaccine in order to track people digitally.

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Now, conspiracy theorists are pledging to never touch a drop of Heineken again after the news of Gates’s purchase was announced.

Right-wing pundit Rogan O’Handley, who goes by DC_Draino on Twitter, posted a link to the story and wrote: “Guess which beer I am never drinking again?”

The post led the circulation of the #BoycottHeineken hashtag. One user, who goes by Deplorable4trump2024, posted a figure in a hazmat suit holding a Heineken, writing “Boycott Heineken: Bill Gates’ new investment.”

Another wrote: “Bill Gates + Beer = A lot of stupid drinkers (never know what's in it) #BoycottHeineken @Heineken.”

The user “UnJabbed Male” added: “Bill Gates just bought shares in Heineken You know what that means? BOYCOTT HEINEKEN.”

It’s not the first time the #BoycottHeineken has been shared on social media. Before Gates invested in the brewery, people had been using the hashtag to protest against Heineken and its ongoing business relationship with Russia amid the invasion of Ukraine.

Heineken vowed to withdraw its business from Russia in March 2022, but it continues to sell in the country. This week, it said it is working to remove itself from the country though, saying it is prepared to take a “significant financial loss”.

Heineken said in a statement: “We are very concerned with recent news publications incorrectly stating ‘Heineken has broken its promise to leave Russia’. This is categorically untrue and misleading.

“We’re working hard to transfer our business to a viable buyer in very challenging circumstances and we expect a significant financial loss to the company, amounting to around €300M. In the meantime, our local colleagues at HEINEKEN Russia are doing what they can to keep the business going, after fully delisting the Heineken® brand, to avoid nationalisation and ensure their livelihoods are not at risk.

“The business is ringfenced and they are self-funding all operational expenses. Let us be clear that there is no exchange of funds between HEINEKEN and our local business in Russia and we do not receive any dividends, corporate fees or royalties (for any brand). The war in Ukraine is a terrible human tragedy. As we exit our business in Russia, we aim to do this the right way, fulfilling our firm commitment to both the exit and to our people. We aim to reach an agreement in the first half of 2023.”

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