Warren Buffett, the world’s fourth wealthiest person, is donating shares of his Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate worth about $3.6 billion to five charities, including one run by Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates.
Buffett has a net worth of more than $87 billion according to wealth indexes tracked by Forbes and Bloomberg. He is converting some of his A shares of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) into B shares (BRKB) of the company. Buffett is giving the shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Sherwood Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation and NoVo Foundation.
Berkshire’s class A stock, which allows investors to have more voting rights, trades at a nosebleed level of more than $321,000 for just one share. The B shares, which cater to average investors, trade at a more affordable price of about $214.
Susan Thompson Buffett is Warren Buffett’s late wife. The other three charities are run by Buffett’s children Susan, Howard and Peter and their families.
The Oracle of Omaha donated about $3.4 billion in Berkshire stock to the same five charities last year. That move made the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation one of the larger shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway.