Warren Buffett made a surprise donation of $759 million in stock on Wednesday.
The investor split a total of 2.4 million Class B shares between four of his family’s foundations.
Buffett has gifted 52% of his Berkshire Hathaway shares since 2006, but still holds a 15.5% stake.
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Warren Buffett must be feeling grateful this Thanksgiving, as he unexpectedly donated $759 million to good causes on Wednesday.
The famed investor and Berkshire Hathaway CEO converted 1,600 Class A shares in his company into 2.4 million Class B shares, then gifted all of them to four of his family’s foundations, SEC filings show.
Buffett gave 1.5 million shares, worth $474 million as of Wednesday’s close, to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, named after his late wife.
He also gifted 300,000 shares, valued at $94 million, to each of his three children’s foundations: The Sherwood Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, and the NoVo Foundation.
The billionaire’s latest gifts are a surprise, as he already made his usual yearly donation in June. Specifically, he split 14.4 million “B” shares worth $4 billion between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the same four family foundations.
Buffett’s latest donations reduced his stockpile of “A” shares to 227,416. He has now given away 247,582 “A” shares since 2006, or about 52% of his Berkshire stake, which accounts for 99% of his personal wealth. Yet he still owns 15.5% of his company, and commands over 31% of its voting rights.
The 92-year-old investor, who has pledged to give away virtually all of his wealth to good causes, is more than halfway there. All else being equal, if Buffett had hung on to his 475,000 shares and not donated any of them, he would be the world’s richest man with a net worth over $227 billion — well ahead of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s $180 billion fortune.
The Buffett family’s foundations focus on a variety of causes, ranging from food security and nuclear disarmament to social and reproductive justice.
For example, Howard Buffett met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv this summer and offered his support following Russia’s invasion. His foundation donated about $3 million to fund the delivery of passenger buses to Ukrainian forces, and trauma kits to citizens.