The billionaire and American philanthropist, Bill Gates, has just made a donation estimated at 4.6 billion USD to a recipient who for now remains unknown. This is the most significant donation made by the American businessman since the beginning of this century.
Bill Gates donated 64 million shares to the publisher of Windows, the IT company he founded with Paul Allen in the mid-1970s. The total value of these shares was estimated at $4.6 billion on June 6. It was Bloomberg who disclosed this information based on a document published Monday by the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the US stock exchange policeman.
Although there is no information available to identify the beneficiary of this donation, for the time being, there is a consensus that there is a good chance that this gift will be for the Bill Foundation & Melinda Gates. As a reminder, this is the foundation he launched with his wife Melinda 17 years ago. Indeed, Mr. Gates made the majority of his donations to the charity that he and his wife set up and use to support the causes they defend.
Twenty-one years ago, the 61-year-old American billionaire still held 24 percent of Microsoft’s shares. Today, he owns only 1.3 percent of the technology company he created.
This is not the first action of the kind of the businessman since Bill Gates had donated $16 billion to charities in the form of shares he held at Microsoft. The year after, in 2000, he offered $5.1 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation at the time of its creation.
According to a study by the Gates Foundation based on the value of shares and liquidity offered since 1994 by Bill and Melinda Gates, it appears that they have already spent about $35 billion to support charities. With US investor and billionaire Warren Buffett, Gates founded the charity Giving Pledge in 2010, an organization that currently has more than 168 donors. The following figure shows the three largest US donors since the beginning of 2017. In 2000, it offered $ 5.1 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation at the time of its creation.
Despite the fact that he has “separated” as much money (about 5% of his fortune), Bill Gates still has a colossal fortune which is now estimated at 86.1 billion USD. In addition, he is still ranked as the richest man on the planet.
In July, Jeff Bezos, the boss of Amazon, had temporarily managed to dethrone Microsoft co-founder in this ranking becoming the richest man in the world. However, he managed to occupy this position only for a few hours before giving it back to Gates.
Today, the person who holds most of the shares of Microsoft is Steve Ballmer, the former boss of the company, who left his place at Satya Nadella in 2014. So far Microsoft and Bill Gates still has not commented on the announcement.