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Warren Buffett tells shareholders he ‘feels good’ after donating more Berkshire shares

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Nov 21 (Reuters) – Warren Buffett said on Tuesday that he has donated about $866 million from Berkshire Hathaway. (BRKa.N) shares to four family charities and told shareholders “I feel good” as he approaches the twilight of his storied investing career.

In a regulatory filing, the company said Buffett donated 1.5 million Berkshire Class B shares to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation. The organization, named after his late first wife, works in reproductive health.

Buffett donated another 900,000 Class B shares, divided equally among charities run by his children, Howard, Susan and Peter: the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the Sherwood Foundation and the NoVo Foundation.

The donations complement the $759 million in Berkshire stock that Buffett donated to charities around this time last year, also just before the US Thanksgiving holiday.

Buffett also sent a rare letter to shareholders, again promising that more than 99% of his wealth would go to charity and that his children would act as executors of his will. He said Berkshire was “built to last” and would remain in good hands.

While Buffett has limited his responsibilities outside Berkshire over the years, he has never publicly stated his desire to resign, even after a prostate cancer diagnosis in 2012.

Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, donated about $866 million in Berkshire stock to four family charities.
AP

“At 93 years old, I feel fine, but I am fully aware that I am playing in extra innings,” Buffett said in the letter.

Over the years, Buffett has often referred to his success in staying healthy despite having the eating habits of a 6-year-old, including a love of junk food and sugary drinks.

“I think happiness makes a huge difference in terms of… longevity,” he told CNBC in April. “I’m happiest when I eat hot fudge sundaes or drink Coca-Cola.”

Berkshire did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

Greg Abel, 61, Berkshire’s vice chairman, is scheduled to succeed Buffett as Berkshire’s chief executive, while Howard Buffett would become non-executive chairman.

“We have the right CEO to succeed me and the right board of directors,” Buffett wrote.

Buffett is the fifth richest person in the world, with a fortune of $120.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

Since 2006 he has donated more than half of his Berkshire shares to family charities and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The donations totaled nearly $52 billion at the time they were made, and the Gates Foundation received more than $39 billion.

Buffett has led Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire since 1965.

The conglomerate owns dozens of businesses, including BNSF railroad, Geico auto insurance, energy and industrial companies, and well-known consumer brands such as Dairy Queen and Fruit of the Loom.

He also recently owned more than $318 billion in stocks, about half of which were Apple. (AAPL.O).

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation focuses on alleviating hunger, mitigating conflict, combating human trafficking, and improving public safety. The Sherwood Foundation supports nonprofit organizations in Nebraska and the NoVo Foundation has initiatives focused on girls and women.

Reporting by Bhanvi Satija in Bengaluru and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Edited by Arun Koyyur, Lisa Shumaker, David Gregorio, Shri Navaratnam and Leslie Adler

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