© Reuters. PHOTO: Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett walks through the showroom as shareholders gather to hear the billionaire investor at the annual Berkshire Hathaway Inc shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, USA, May 4, 2019. REUTERS / Scott
By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) – A happy and probably rich man offered more than $ 19 million to have dinner with Warren Buffett, the 21st and last time the billionaire businessman sold a private lunch at a charity in San Francisco.
The winning bid at the eBay auction, which ended on Friday night, far surpassed the previous record of $ 4.57 million paid in 2019 by cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun, although the identity of the new winner could not be determined immediately.
The proceeds go to Glide, a non-profit organization in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco that helps the poor, the homeless or those struggling with substance abuse. Glide offers food, shelter, HIV and hepatitis C tests, job training and children’s programs.
Buffett, 91, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE 🙂 Inc, raised more than $ 53.2 million for Glide in 21 auctions that began in 2000.
An eBay spokeswoman said lunch was the most expensive item ever sold on the company’s website for charity.
No tenders 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 promised to distribute almost all his wealth. Buffett was worth $ 93.4 billion on Friday, ranking seventh in the world, according to Forbes magazine.
This year’s winner and up to seven guests will dine with Buffett at the Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse in Manhattan.
Buffett will talk about almost everything, but not where he can invest further.
Hedge fund managers David Einhorn and Ted Weschler are among the previous winners.
Weschler became Berkshire’s portfolio manager after paying a total of $ 5.25 million to win the 2010 and 2011 auctions.
Berkshire owns dozens of companies, including the BNSF Railroad, Geico Car Insurance, Energy, Manufacturing and Retail, and shares such as Apple Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 and Bank of America Corp (NYSE :)).
Buffett still owns nearly 16 percent of the Omaha-based Nebraska conglomerate, despite donating more than half of its shares since 2006, including $ 4 billion on June 14.