Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A bidder pledged $2.68 million to a San Francisco charity in exchange for a lunch date with billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
Buffett is Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman, chief executive officer and biggest shareholder. He used stock picks and acquisitions to build Berkshire from a failing textiles maker into a $419 billion company with holdings in energy, insurance, retail and manufacturing.
The five-day auction attracted 41 offers, according to eBay. Just one bid was received all day Friday, and the high offer remained below $2.4 million, before the winning bid arrived in the closing seconds.
The winner of the online auction that concluded Friday on eBay Inc.’s website chose to remain anonymous. The final price fell short of last year’s $3.46 million winning pledge, which tied the previous record.
As in years past, the winner gets to bring seven friends to dine with Buffett, 86, at New York’s Smith & Wollensky steakhouse. Proceeds benefit Glide, a San Francisco charity that serves meals to the homeless, hosts support groups through its woman’s center for abuse victims and provides treatment for drug addiction.
Glide was brought to the billionaire’s attention by his first wife, Susan, who volunteered for the organization. The lunch auction has become a fixture on his philanthropic calendar and a reliable money-raiser for Glide, bringing in more than $26 million for the organization since 2000.