“I have given them a tree and they will reap the fruits” – Paul Gauci on his philanthropic donation of €7 million Group shares
A leading entrepreneur has donated shares valued at €7 million in a group of companies to a number of philanthropic groups.
Paul Gauci, who has a majority shareholding in the commercial PG Group made the donation to seven philanthropic groups with the aim these continue to reap dividends on a regular basis in the future.
Estimated to be one of the largest philanthropic donations in recent years, the generous gesture made by the Gauci family this week was on everybody’s lips. Surrounded by his family, Paul Gauci relayed his father’s belief that being charitable never made anybody poor.
The donation is said to be 5% of Gauci’s holding of 75% of the shares in PG Group which has various enterprises quoted on the Malta Stock Exchange. However, the €7 million is not in cash but an investment that will yield future dividends for the societies that are the Malta Trust Foundation, Puttinu Cares, Dar Bjorn, the Djar tal-Ursolini, the Fondazzjoni Sebħ, Caritas and the Dar tal-Providenza.
He said that by making them shareholders, an example he always used, was a gesture that he had given them a tree and they now owned the tree. Now it is up to them to reap the fruits of that tree every six months. He said donating cash would be a one-off and once used, that was that. Making them shareholders reaped perpetual benefits for them.
Gauci said the seven groups will now benefit from an income every six months, an investment that will grow as the companies continue to progress.
He explained that at the financial year’s end, half the profit goes to shareholders and the other half is reinvested in the companies to help them continue to grow and that means if the current share price is that of €1.85, the value of that share will continue to grow.
The Group’s CEO, Charles Borg, said the main aim is that the societies use the dividends for their needs and that a condition had been imposed the shares cannot be sold off unless with the permission of the Gauci family.
Borg said the donation is part of a Corporate Social Responsibility Programme by the companies to honour their obligations to contribute to the welfare of society in general.
During the presentation of the shares, Malta Trust Foundation Chairperson, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, said the generosity of the Gauci family will help among others, vulnerable children and youths to lead a better quality of life.