Bill Gates has bought 3.76% stake in Dutch drinks giant Heineken Holding, although the billionaire founder of Microsoft has previously said he was "not a big beer drinker."

The filing by the Netherlands' Financial Markets Authority (AFM) said the shares were purchased on February 17. Heineken Holding owns a controlling stake in brewer Heineken NV.

Gates purchased the shares from Mexico's FEMSA, which is selling out of the brewing company.

A separate filing also dated February 17 showed FEMSA sold all 18 million shares it held in Heineken Holding.

Gates purchased 10.8 million shares, worth 883 million euros at current market prices, triggering a disclosure requirement under Dutch stock market rules.

In a 2018 "Ask Me Anything" chat session on Reddit, Gates said he was "not a big beer drinker."

"When I end up at something like a baseball game I drink light beer to get with the vibe of all the other beer drinkers. Sorry to disappoint real beer drinkers."

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the charitable foundation launched by the billionaire and his former wife, wasn't immediately available for comment.