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S&L Tycoons Make Big Donation

The Sandlers of Golden West report $1.3-billion gift in stock to an unnamed charity.

July 10, 2006|From Bloomberg News

Golden West Financial Corp. founders Herbert M. Sandler and Marion O. Sandler have donated about $1.3 billion in stock to charity in the last month, including an $814.7-million gift disclosed in a securities filing.

The couple serve as co-chief executives and chairpersons of the Oakland savings and loan, which is being acquired by Wachovia Corp. for $24.6 billion. The gift, reported Friday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, went to an unidentified charity that "agreed to be bound by the voting agreement," the filing stated.

The Sandlers gave 11.03 million shares, valued at $814.7 million based on Friday's closing price of $73.86. The couple gave 6.4 million shares June 13 worth $463.8 million.

Their gifts align with previously announced plans to donate their fortune to charity before they die. The Sandlers are the largest individual donors to Human Rights Watch in New York, having pledged $15 million to the global human rights investigator in 2004. They also have given money to California's promoters of stem cell research.

The private Sandler Foundation, registered to the couple's office in Oakland, had no assets and received only enough money to pay its annual filing fee in 2004 and 2003, tax returns showed.

Bernard Osher, a member of Golden West's board and the former chairman of auction house Butterfield & Butterfield, gave 6.5 million shares to unnamed charities June 26, a gift valued at about $470 million.

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