The five foundations billionaire Warren Buffett has pledged most of his $49 billion fortune to received their second annual gifts of Class B shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. on Monday.
Buffett said in a news release that he had given 572,375 Berkshire shares to the foundations according the terms he announced last June. Based on Friday's closing price of $3,704.90, this year's gift to charity was worth $2.12 billion.
Most of the shares — 475,000 — went to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the rest went to Buffett's own foundation and the foundations run by each of his three children.
After making these gifts, Buffett holds 350,000 Class A shares and 2,570,065 Class B shares of Berkshire stock. Buffett has said he plans to give each foundation 5 percent of his remaining pledge each year in July, so he will give away 5 percent fewer shares each time. Last year, he gave 602,500 shares away.
Buffett has said he plans to give away 12,050,000 Class B shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock to the five foundations. The 76-year-old investor has also said that all of his Berkshire stock will eventually go to charity.
Buffett has earmarked 10 million B shares for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 1 million B shares for the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation named in honor of his wife and 350,000 shares for the three foundations run by each of his children.
Buffett said in Monday's statement that he does not participate in the investment decisions of any of the five foundations.
One Class A share, which rose $500 to $112,000 Monday, can be converted into 30 Class B shares, which rose $9.10 to $3,714.
Buffett's Omaha-based company owns a diverse mix of more than 60 companies, including insurance, furniture, carpet, jewelry, restaurants and utility firms. It has major investments in such companies as H&R Block Inc., Anheuser-Busch Cos. and Coca-Cola Co.