Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., right, and Bill Gates, chairman and co-founder of Microsoft Corp., participate in a newspaper toss event at the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting on Saturday, May 5, 2012.
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The Oracle of Omaha will convert 11,250 of his Class A shares into 16.875 million Class B shares. About 16.8 million of these Class B shares will be donated to five foundations: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Sherwood Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation and NoVo Foundation, the company said in a statement on Monday.
Buffett pledged in a 2006 letter to make annual gifts of Berkshire B shares throughout his lifetime for the benefit of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He donated $1.5 billion worth of shares that year.
Berkshire said Buffett has never sold any shares of Berkshire, and about 45% of his 2006 holdings have been given to the five foundations, totaling about $34 billion.
Buffett plans to give away all of his Berkshire shares through annual gifts, which will be completed ten years after his estate is settled, the company said.
Buffett is Berkshire’s largest shareholder, owning 37.4% of the Class A shares, according to FactSet. Shares of Berkshire rose 4.4% so far this year, significantly underperforming the broad market.