Bill Gates donates $4.6bn worth of Microsoft shares
The donation is Gates' largest since 2000
by Abi Moses on 16th August, 2017
Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, has made a donation of $4.6m, his largest since he set up the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, according to a Securities & Exchange Commission filing released on Monday.
The donation of 64m Microsoft shares was valued at $4.6bn on 6 June, accounting for 5% of Gates’ $90bn fortune.
The gift reduces Gates’ stake in Microsoft, the company he co-founded in 1975, to just 1.3%, having been at 24% in 1996.
Though the recipient of the gift has not been specified, the majority of the philanthropist’s donations have gone to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he and his wife’s charity founded in 2000. Having giving away $16bn worth of Microsoft shares in 1999 and $5.1bn a year later, this is Gates’ largest donation since the foundation’s establishment.
Spokespeople for Microsoft and Gates have not immediately responded to requests for comment.
Since 1994, about $35bn of stock and cash have been pledged by Bill and Melinda Gates, according to a review of the Gates Foundation’s tax returns, annual reports and regulatory filings for the last twenty years.
In 2010, Gates created the Giving Pledge with billionaire investor, Warren Buffett, that commits to donating the majority of their wealth to charity. The pair have since been joined by 168 others in the philanthropic movement.
Despite the donation, Gates still remains the world's richest person with an $86.1bn valuation according to Bloomberg. Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, continues to edge closer to the Microsoft founder’s value though. The ecommerce company’s founder briefly leapfrogged Gates as the world’s richest person last month, but dropped again after Amazon’s share prices fell. Bezos’ fortune has risen 30% since 1 January.
Gates’ share disposals mean that should he continue to gift shares as he has been doing in the past, then he could reduce his stake in Microsoft to zero by as soon as 2019.
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