The value of the July 1 donation, which was made in Berkshire Class B stock, rose about 28 percent from $1.25 billion last year, according to a regulatory filing today. The number of shares given fell 5 percent to 20.4 million, when last year’s count is adjusted to reflect a 50-for-1 share split. In the 12 months, Berkshire has gained about a third.
Buffett, 79, is giving away a personal fortune that was estimated at $47 billion by Forbes magazine in March. Four years ago, he pledged most of his wealth to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which combats global hunger and funds U.S. education initiatives. This year’s gift is Buffett’s biggest since the $1.8 billion he gave in 2008.
“Buffett’s gift to the Gates Foundation is one of the most transformative events in philanthropy in the last decade,” said Melissa Berman, president and chief executive officer of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in New York.
The Class B shares slipped $1.57, or 2 percent, to $77.24 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has gained about 18 percent this year. The value of the gift was calculated from yesterday’s closing price of $78.81. Buffett’s filing didn’t contain a dollar total.
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