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Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting goes virtual over coronavirus



Warren Buffett is shutting shareholders out of Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Yahoo will live-stream the meeting set for May 2 in Omaha, Nebraska, the billionaire Berkshire chairman said Friday, but in-person attendance will be limited to Buffett, Berkshire vice chairman Charlie Munger and some company employees who will deliver proxy votes.

“It is now clear … that large gatherings can pose a health threat to the participants and the greater community,” Buffett wrote in a letter to shareholders. “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.”

All special events tied to the meeting have been canceled, Buffett said, adding that the event has long been a “high point of the year” for him and Munger.

Known as “Woodstock for capitalists,” Berkshire’s annual meeting is one of corporate America’s biggest gatherings and draws thousands of people each year.

The meeting is just the latest major event to be canceled because of concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. Others include the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas and the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the video-game industry’s biggest annual convention.

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