The World’s richest man Bill Gates has made his largest donation in 17 years, giving away $4.6 billion worth of shares in Microsoft Corp by reducing Microsoft stake to 1.3 percent.
According to Securities & Exchange Commission filing released on Monday and picked up by Bloomberg, Gates donated 64 million shares of Microsoft on June 6. The report notes that this is the billionaire’s largest donation since 2000, when he donated stock valued at $5 billion to create the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In 2000, the businessman who co-founded Microsoft in 1975, gave away more than $20 billion worth of shares, according to Bloomberg calculations.
Gates’ estimated net worth is $89.9 billion, as of July 2017. He was briefly overtaken by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest man on 27 July this year.
Bill Gates as a co-creator of the Giving Pledge with Warren Buffett, Gates has committed to giving a majority of his wealth to charity. His latest donation represents 38% of his Microsoft holdings (his stake is now down to 1.3% from 24% in 1996), but it’s still only a small fraction of his total wealth, estimated at over over $85 billion by Bloomberg. Not including this latest donation, the foundation currently has an endowment of $40.3 billion—augmented in no small part by a $36.1 billion donation made by Buffett in 2006.
Bloomberg, indicate the billionaire donated 64 million of the software maker’s shares valued at $4.6 billion on June 6, according to a Securities & Exchange Commission filing released Monday. While the recipient of the gift wasn’t specified, Gates has made the majority of his donations to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the charity he and his wife use to direct their philanthropic efforts
Bill and Melinda Gates have given away about $35 billion of stock and cash since 1994, based on the value of the shares at the time of gifts, according to a review of two decades worth of Gates Foundation tax returns, annual reports and regulatory filings. Gates created the Giving Pledge in 2010 with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, and the pair have been joined by 168 others who’ve promised to give the majority of their wealth to charity.
Gates has probably directed more than 700 million shares of Microsoft into the foundation, adjusting for stock splits. Those would be worth about $50 billion today had he held onto them. The June gift represents 38 percent of his holdings in the company and is the latest in a long line of Microsoft share disposals that have whittled his stake down from 24 percent in 1996 to 1.3 percent today.
The recipient of the gift was not disclosed in the filing dated June 6, though the majority of his prior donations have been to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the charity set up by Gates and his wife to promote global development.
Gates’ most recent pledge takes his overall charitable donations to approximately $50 billion, based on the foundation’s most recent financial statement.