GEORGE SOROS has bought a stake in FCC, the infrastructure company Bill Gates invested in late last year.

Funds associated with Mr Soros, the hedge fund philanthropist famed for making billions through currency speculation, bought a 3.1% stake in FCC from the company’s biggest shareholder and philanthropist Esther Koplowitz last week, several people familiar with the deal said.

Ms Koplowitz, one of Spain’s wealthiest women, sold a 3.8% stake in the company worth €72 million through the Spanish broker Fidentis last month while retaining just over 50% of its shares, FCC said in a stock market filing.

The company declined to comment on the identity of the buyer.

Yesterday it was revealed the company had sold its renewable energy interests in a bid to cut its multi-million euro debtpile.