UPDATED: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to acquire WPLG from parent Graham Holdings Company in a deal that includes a stock swap and cash trading hands. According to the investor service Moody's, Berkshire Hathaway picks up WPLG at an estimated value of $364 million, $400 million worth of Berkshire shares currently held by Graham Holdings Company and $327 million in cash, in exchange for approximately 1.6 million shares of Graham Holdings Class B common stock that Berkshire currently holds, which Bloomberg values at $1.1 billion.
“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 Company. “We thank our longtime colleagues at WPLG for their enormous contributions and congratulate them on the opportunity to join one of the greatest companies in America.”
The deal is subject to regulatory approval. WPLG is a strong ABC affiliate in DMA No. 16.
Financier Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, called it “a mutually beneficial transaction” for both parties.
Graham Holdings Company includes the Post-Newsweek station group, which gets smaller by one with the deal.
Emily Barr, president/CEO of Post-Newsweek, said the rest of the group is not going anywhere. "We are emphatically not for sale," she told B&C via email.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.