CEO Warren Buffett made his annual philanthropic donations Wednesday, giving away $4.6 billion in Berkshire shares to five organizations with the bulk going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Buffett gave away $3.6 billion to the Gates Foundation and a total of $1 billion to four philanthropies run by his three children. Buffett has made annual donations of
Berkshire Hathaway stock
(ticker: BRK.A/BRK.B) stock around this time of year to those organizations since he began his giving program in 2006.
After giving away the Berkshire shares, Buffett holds 218,287 Class A shares worth $112 billion based on the stock’s closing price of $515,515 on Wednesday. The Class B stock finished at $338.61. Buffett now holds a roughly 15% economic stake in Berkshire and a voting stake close to 30%.
As is his custom, Buffett converted Class A super-voting shares into Class B stock before making the gifts. He gave away a total of 13.7 million Class B shares.
In a statement, Buffett said: “The mathematics of the lifetime commitments to the five foundations are interesting. The schedule for annual grants was made on June 26, 2006, and has since been supplemented by significant grants to four of the five recipients. When originally made, I owned 474,998 Berkshire A shares worth about $43 billion and those shares represented more than 98% of my net worth. I have converted A shares into B shares before making contributions.”
“During the following 17 years, I have neither bought nor sold any A or B shares nor do I intend to do so. The five foundations have received Berkshire B shares that had a value when received of about $50 billion, substantially more than my entire net worth in 2006. I have no debts and my remaining A shares are worth about $112 billion, well over 99% of my net worth.
“Nothing extraordinary has occurred at Berkshire; a very long runway, simple and generally sound decisions, the American tailwind and compounding effects produced my current wealth. My will provides that more than 99% of my estate is destined for philanthropic usage.”
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