Warren Buffett’s Charity Lunch wins $19 million


June 17 (Reuters) – One lucky and probably wealthy person offered more than $19 million to dine with Warren Buffett the 21st and last time the billionaire businessman auctioned a private lunch for a San Francisco charity.

The winning bid at the eBay auction that ended Friday night surpassed the previous record of $4.57 million, which was paid in 2019 by entrepreneur Justin Sun, although a new winner was not immediately identified.

Proceeds benefit Glide, a nonprofit organization in the Tenderloin area of ​​San Francisco that helps the poor, the homeless, or those struggling with substance abuse. Glide offers meals, shelter, HIV and hepatitis C testing, job training, and children’s programs.

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Buffett, 91, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N)raised more than $53.2 million for Glide in 21 auctions, which began in 2000.

An eBay spokeswoman said the lunch was the most expensive item sold on the company’s website for charity.

No auctions were held in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Buffett became a supporter of Glide after his first wife Susan, who died in 2004, introduced him to the charity, where she volunteered.

He also vowed to give away nearly all of his fortune. Buffett was worth $93.4 billion on Friday, ranking him seventh in the world, according to Forbes magazine.

This year’s auction winner and up to seven guests will dine with Buffett at Smith & Wolinsky’s Steakhouse in Manhattan.

Buffett will talk about just about anything, but not where he might invest next.

Hedge fund managers David Einhorn and Ted Wechsler were among the previous winners of the auction.

Weschler became Berkshire Portfolio Manager after paying $5.25 million to win the 2010 and 2011 auctions.

Berkshire owns dozens of companies including railroad BNSF, Geico auto insurance, energy, manufacturing and retail, and stocks such as Apple Inc. (AAPL.O) The Bank of America Corp (BAC.N).

Buffett still owns approximately 16% of the Omaha, Nebraska, conglomerate, despite giving more than half of his stock since 2006, including $4 billion on June 14. Read more

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(Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York) Editing by David Gregorio and Clarence Fernandez

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