Buffett cancels annual shareholders meeting

Photo courtesy of Fortune Live Media / CC BY-ND 2.0
Photo courtesy of Fortune Live Media / CC BY-ND 2.0(WVLT)
Published: Mar. 13, 2020 at 7:34 AM CDT
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Warren Buffett’s annual shareholder meeting for Berkshire Hathaway draws professional-sporting-event sized crowds every year to Omaha, Nebraska.

But like the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball, there will be no one in the stands for the big event this year because of the risks from the coronavirus pandemic.

Buffett said Friday that the May 2 event will stream live on Yahoo and there may be a select number of journalists on hand to ask questions.

Buffett appeared crestfallen about shutting down the public portion of the two-decade-old event, which is usually a staid, but still carnival-like event. Last year in the traditional auction for the opportunity to have lunch with Buffett, the winning bid was more than $4.5 million.

He wrote that the event has become a high point each year for him and his business partner, Charlie Munger.

“It is now clear, however, that large gatherings can pose a health threat to the participants and the greater community,” Buffett said. “We won’t ask this of our employees and we won’t expose Omaha to the possibility of becoming a ‘hot spot’’ in the current pandemic.”

The event will be attended by Buffett, Munger, and several employees who will deliver proxy votes from shareholders.

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