The terms of the deal are still squishy, but include the 1.6M Class B shares that Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway owns in Graham Holdings — the new name for the company that owned The Washington Post before it sold the paper to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos last year. Buffett’s stake accounted for about 23% 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. Buffett was a long-time backer of the Post. “While this transaction will greatly reduce our position in Graham Holdings, our admiration for the company and its management is undiminished,” he says. Graham’s CEO Donald Graham assured WPLG employees that they are moving to “one of the greatest companies in America.” Graham shares are up 1.8% in early trading. The market values the company, which also owns Kaplan Test Preparation, at $5.3B.
Bill Gates‘ net worth of $72B enabled him to claim the top spot on the Forbes tally for the 20th consecutive year — followed by Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett ($58.5B), Oracle’s Larry Ellison ($41B), and then Koch Industries’ Charles and David Koch ($36B). While Buffett fattened his holdings the most over the last year, adding $12.5B, the recovery in Facebook’s stock helped to boost Mark Zuckerberg‘s net worth by $9.6B to $19B lifting him 16 spots to No. 20. Once again, the list is heavy with names from the tech world — but at least 28 media execs had a net worth of at least $1.3B, the highest amount needed to qualify for the top 400 since 2008. Bloomberg LP founder Michael Bloomberg, who also happens to be mayor of New York, had $31B, putting him in 10th place, same as last year. Cox Communications’ Anne Cox Chambers, with $13.5B, was 29th (+3 on the list), narrowly beating Rupert Murdoch and family $13.4B (at No. 30, +6). Dish Network’s Charlie Ergen follows at $12.5B (No. 32, +7). Advance Publications’ Samuel Newhouse had $8.9B (No. 46, same as last year) ahead of brother Donald’s $8.2B (No. 52, -1). There’s a tie at No. 61 with the $6.7B net worth for Cox Enterprise’s Jim Kennedy (same rank as last year) and Liberty Media’s John Malone (he’s -4 spots on the list). Other media names include:
The legendary investor says that the social media company’s IPO was either set at the wrong price, or mismanaged. It closed yesterday at $30.81, well below the $38 offering price in May. But Buffett, speaking to Bloomberg TV from the Allen & Co confab in Sun Valley, also criticizes investors who expected Facebook shares to pop. “That’s a terrible reason to buy a stock,” he says. He’s warming up to tech stocks, but prefers businesses he knows. Years from now “more people will be drinking Coca-Cola… or chewing Wrigley Gum. I know that.”
Does Warren Buffett know something about the newspaper business that the rest of the world doesn’t? Whatever the case, Media General shares are rocketing nearly 58% in pre-market trading this morning after the legendary investor agreed to pay $142M for 63 of its daily and weekly newspapers — the whole portfolio except for the Tampa properties that include The Tampa Tribune. A unit of Buffett’s Bershire Hathaway is providing financing for Media General, which is also a major owner of television stations. The deal is a “monumental change” that will enable Media General to “focus on our broadcast television business and its future growth opportunities, including digital content and Mobile DTV,” says CEO Marshall Morton.
Related: Warren Buffett Adds To Viacom Stake
Warren Buffett gave Viacom a modest vote of confidence, raising his total stake in the company to around 1.59 million shares, valued at $75.5 million as of March 31, when the quarter ended, according to an SEC filing. It’s not a large stake for Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, which also announced it currently holds 10 million shares of GM, but it could be an indication that Buffett and his team believe there is growth potential in Viacom stock, which is down 5.9% in the last year. This comes on the heels of Berkshire Hathaway making an investment late last year in Liberty Media, the first time Buffett’s company has invested in John Malone’s media empire. Berkshire Hathaway doubled that investment in the first quarter of this year. The Omaha-based company also increased its holdings in DirecTV in the first quarter.
Robinson will set up a new London office for the company which was formed late last year as a joint venture between Andy Heyward’s A Squared Entertainment and Tata Elxsi, the technology arm of Indian conglom the Tata group. A2E2 will be in Cannes for MipTV next month notably touting a new series of Warren Buffett’s Secret Millionaires Club in which the Oracle of Omaha teaches kids about business with guest stars like Jay-Z, Shaquille O’Neal and Serena Williams. The group’s motto is that it’s dedicated to creating “content with a purpose.” See the full release: