Berkshire swaps Graham Holdings stock for TV station

Investment firm to shed much of its 40-year-old investment in former Washington Post publisher

Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

 

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to shed much of its 40-year-old investment in Graham Holdings Co, the former publisher of the Washington Post, and swap most of its shares for a Miami television station and other assets.

Berkshire will exchange about 1.6 million Graham shares, worth roughly $1.1 billion, for Miami station WPLG, an unspecified number of Berkshire shares now owned by Graham, and cash, the companies said in a joint statement today.

“I am sure this is a mutually beneficial transaction for both companies,” Buffett said. “While this transaction will greatly reduce our position in Graham Holdings, our admiration for the company and its management is undiminished.”

Berkshire owns 1.73 million Graham shares that were worth more than $1.2 billion as of yesterday. It paid $11 million for its stake in the middle of 1973.

“Warren Buffett’s 40-year association with our company has been extremely good for our shareholders,” and WPLG employees can now join “one of the greatest companies in America,” said Donald Graham, chief executive officer of Graham Holdings.

The transaction is subject to the completion of final paperwork, regulatory approval and other conditions.

Graham Holdings changed its name from Washington Post Co after selling its flagship paper last year to Amazon. com CEO Jeff Bezos. Its businesses include Kaplan, the education unit founded by Stanley Kaplan.

Mr Buffett (83) stepped down from the Post’s board in 2011. He had been a longtime confidant of the late Katharine Graham, the former Post CEO and mother of Donald Graham. (Reuters)

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.