The children of Helen and Sam Walton through Walton Enterprises recently transferred 14% of the family’s Walmart stock into the Walton Family Holdings Trust, a benevolent entity that funds charitable contributions.
The transfer of 415 million shares had a market value of $48.65 billion, though the transfer was in-kind to the charitable trust on March 5.
Walmart said the transfer was consistent with the family’s effort to maintain a balance of slightly under 50% of the outstanding stock, relative to non-family ownership. No change in the total ownership of Walmart by the Walton Family occurred at the time of the transfer, the company said. The family also said there is no set timetable for the sale of shares from the charitable trust.
Walton Enterprises had a share balance of more than 1 billion shares after the recent transfer. Each of the immediate heirs also have direct ownership of Walmart stock at varying amounts. The eldest son Rob Walton (age 75) owned 2.614 million shares with a market value of $330.6 million. Jim Walton (71) has a direct ownership of 6.351 million shares with a market value of $730 million. Alice Walton’s (70) direct ownership totals 6.748 million shares worth an estimated $776 million.
The Walton family set up Walton Family Holdings Trust in early 2015 and made the first transfer of about 6% of Walton Enterprise shares at the time and said it would make these transfers when family ownership rose above 50%.
Shares of Walmart stock (NYSE: WMT) closed Wednesday (March 11) at $114.43, down $5.36, or 4.47%, in a day when the all the major markets sold off amid coronavirus fears and plummeting oil prices.
Walmart shares for the year are down 3.71%, better than the 17.47% decline the Dow Jones Industrials have suffered this year. Walmart is a Dow Jones component and one of the best performing during the recent market cascade.