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Graham Holdings Sells WPLG-TV to Berkshire Hathaway

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Graham Holdings Company (GHC) recently completed the previously announced sale of its Miami-based TV station, WPLG to investment company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B).

Per the deal, Berkshire Hathaway has bought one of Graham Holdings’ wholly owned subsidiaries, including the TV station, in an exchange transaction which involved stock and cash.

Berkshire Hathaway received 2,107 Class A shares and 1,278 Class B shares held by Graham Holdings and $327.7 million in cash and gave away approximately 1.62 million Class B Graham Holdings shares that it held. The deal thus greatly reduces Berkshire’s stake in Graham Holdings.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Graham Holdings operates through a mix of education, media, publishing and other smaller companies.

The media and education company has often divested its businesses to concentrate on its core segments. In the fourth quarter of 2013, the company divested its newspaper publishing businesses, including The Washington Post and its related website to Nash Holdings.

Graham Holdings also has a strategy to invest in companies with proven earnings potential and strong management teams.

In June, Graham Holdings acquired Joyce/Dayton Corp., a manufacturer of screw jacks and other linear motion systems, for an undisclosed amount. In the same month, Kaplan, its education division, acquired Dev Bootcamp, an originator of the software coding boot camp model. In April, another subsidiary Celtic Healthcare acquired VNA-TIP Healthcare, a provider of home health and hospice services in Missouri and Illinois. Earlier this year, Graham Holdings acquired a small business in the Kaplan education division.

During 2013, Graham Holdings acquired six businesses totaling approximately $23.8 million. In Aug 2013, the company acquired Forney which publishes online and print magazines and websites. The company also acquired four small divisions in other businesses and one small unit in Kaplan. In the second quarter of 2013, Kaplan purchased the remaining 15% non-controlling interest in Kaplan China.

Other Stocks to Consider

Graham Holdings has not been assigned a Zacks Rank yet. Other stocks in the education industry that are worth considering include TAL Education Group (XRS) and Lincoln Educational Services Corporation (LINC). Both the companies carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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