The billionaire donated 64 million of the software maker’s shares to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on June 6, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings released Monday. The shares were valued at $4.6 billion at the time.
Spokesmen for Gates and Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Gates probably has directed more than 700 million shares of Microsoft into the foundation, adjusting for stock splits, and he would be about $50 billion richer today had he kept them. The June gift represents 38 percent of his holding in the company and is the latest in a long line of Microsoft share disposals that have whittled his stake from 24 percent in 1996 to 1.3 percent now.
Bill and Melinda Gates have given away about $35 billion of stock and cash since 1994, based on the value of the shares at the time of gifts, according to a review of Gates Foundation tax returns, annual reports and regulatory filings. Gates created the Giving Pledge in 2010 with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, and they have been joined by 168 others who promised to give the majority of their wealth to charity.