Bill Gates Donates Billions in Stock to Foundation

By Jay Greene Features Dow Jones Newswires

Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates handed over 64 million shares of the software giant to his foundation in June, a $4.68 billion donation based on current share prices that would rank as his most valuable to the organization in more than a decade.

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The gift, disclosed Monday in regulatory filings, is significantly larger in both value and number of shares than recent dispersals by Mr. Gates, the world's wealthiest person. Since June 2015, Mr. Gates has regularly donated 8 million shares each quarter.

A spokeswoman for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation declined to say why Mr. Gates changed his pattern of giving, or whether there would be similarly larger donations in the future. The last time Mr. Gates gave the foundation as many shares was September 2008, when he transferred 84.4 million. Back then, Microsoft's stock was trading at $26.69, valuing that gift at $2.25 billion.

In midday trading Tuesday, Microsoft was at $73.19, a bit off its all-time high closing price of $74.22 on July 20.

The spokeswoman declined to say how the proceeds of Mr. Gates's latest gift would be used. The foundation has focused on global health and development, as well as educational programs in the U.S.

Mr. Gates has given the vast majority of his holdings to the foundation, whose endowment at the end of last year stood at $40.3 billion. That figure also includes gifts from Mr. Gates's longtime friend, Warren Buffett, who has given the foundation between $1.25 billion and $2.17 billion each year since 2006.

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According to the filings, Mr. Gates still holds nearly 103 million Microsoft shares, valued at $7.54 billion.

Write to Jay Greene at Jay.Greene@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 15, 2017 14:52 ET (18:52 GMT)