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Berkshire to Buy TV Station From Graham in $1.1 Billion Swap (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. reached a deal to acquire a Miami television station and some of the company’s own shares in a $1.1 billion swap for Graham Holdings Co. stock that Warren Buffett held for more than four decades. Deadline New York Buffett’s stake accounted for about 23 percent of the voting shares in Graham as of the last proxy, out early last year. He will receive the ABC affiliate plus an unspecified amount of cash and shares that Graham owns in Berkshire Hathaway. Variety The pact marks a turning point for Berkshire and the Graham Holdings, the publicly held firm that changed its name from the Washington Post Co. after it sold its flagship newspaper to Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos last year. Berkshire had been an investor in Washington Post Co. since the 1970s, with Buffett having served as a board member of the publishing and TV station conglomerate. Poynter / MediaWire Berkshire Hathaway purchased most of Media General’s newspapers in 2012, and it’s added lots of newspapers since. Reuters reported in February that Berkshire Hathaway was in talks with Graham Holdings “to trade the shares it owns in the education and media company for control of a yet-to-be-formed unit of Graham.” Graham Holdings still owns TV stations in Detroit and Houston. NYT / DealBook Buffett has embarked on a late-in-life run as a media mogul of sorts, assembling a prospering portfolio that includes his hometown newspaper, The Omaha World-Herald. The deal will bring Berkshire its first television station, whose call sign refers to Philip L. Graham, Katharine Graham’s husband and her predecessor as the publisher of the Post. Perhaps most notably, however, the deal sharply curtails Buffett’s business ties to the Graham family. TVSpy “Warren Buffett’s 40-year association with our company has been extremely good for our shareholders. Naturally, the deal that we have put together is one that will be good for both companies,” said Donald E. Graham, chairman and CEO of Graham Holdings.