UPDATE: David Gottesman Said to Be Seller of Berkshire Class A (BRK/A) Stock; Could Save $300M on Tax Bill

December 12, 2012 10:10 AM EST
(Updated - December 12, 2012 10:58 AM EST)

The seller of 9,200 Class A shares of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A)(NYSE: BRK-B) at $131,000, announced Wednesday and bought by the company, is said to be David Gottesman.

Mr. Gottesman last held 21,086 shares. He was an early investor in Berkshire and joined the board in 2003.

In its news announcement this morning, Berkshire Hathaway said the shares were bought "from the estate of a long-time shareholder," essentially pointing to Mr. Gottesman although he was not named.

With a sale price on the shares of approximately $1.2 billion, Mr. Gottesman stands to save as much as $300 millions on his tax bill if rates go up to 40%. Currently long-term capital gain taxes are at 15%.

Ironically, it has been Berkshire founder/Chairman/CEO Warren Buffett that has been pushing for higher taxes for high income earners.

UPDATE: In addition to speculation about the sale being attributed to Mr. Gottesman, other speculation centers around Albert Ueltshci, the founder of FlightSafety International which was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in 1996. Mr. Ueltshci died in October and owned some 16,000 Class A shares. Mr. Gottesman promised Mr. Buffett publicly that he would hold the shares "indefinitely."

Inelegant Investor suggests a sale by Mr. Gottesman doesn't make sense given the fact that he is very much alive and has no estate. In addition, as a Director there would be certain disclosure requirements.

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