American Billionaire, Bill Gates has made his largest donation since the year 2000, giving away Microsoft Corporation shares that accounted for 5 percent of his fortune.
Gates donated 64 million of the software maker’s shares valued at USD4.6 billion on June 6, according to a Securities & Exchange Commission filing.
While the SEC filing did not disclose the gift’s recipient, it is expected that the money will go to Gates’ charity. The Chronicle of Philanthropy estimates that this would bring the total of Gates’ donations to the foundation to more than USD18 billion.
Bill and Melinda Gates have given away about USD35 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, as reported by Bloomberg. 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.
Bloomberg further reported that Gates has probably directed more than 700 million shares of Microsoft into the foundation, adjusting for stock splits. Those would be worth about US50 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.
Bill Gates is the richest person on earth after the donation with a fortune the Bloomberg Billionaires Index values at USD86.1 billion. William Henry Gates III is a co-founder of Microsoft and is an American business magnate, investor, author and philanthropist. In 1975, Gates and Paul Allen launched Microsoft, which became the world’s largest PC software company.