Who Sold $1.2B in Berkshire Hathaway (BRK/A) Stock?

December 12, 2012 11:12 AM EST
In addition to speculation that long-time Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) holder and director David Gottesman sold 9,200 Class A shares back to the company - at a cool $1.2 billion - another interesting name is surfacing...

Albert Ueltschi

Mr. Ueltschi was the founder of pilot-training company FlightSafety International which was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway in 1996 for $1.5 bilion. 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." That's a promised he kept, although his family may not.

A sale from Mr. Ueltschi versus Mr. Gottesman makes more sense, according to Inelegant Investor. This is simply because Mr. Gottesman is very much alive and has no estate. In addition, as a Director there would be certain disclosure requirements.

Either way, the underlying story and maybe more important story is that this large Berkshire Hathaway holder decided to sell now before tax rates go up next year. With a sale price on the shares of approximately $1.2 billion, the shareholder stands to save as much as $300 millions on taxes 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.

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