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Warren Buffett "Gracefully" Says Goodbye to White Mountains

Monday, 10 Mar 2008 | 10:24 AM ET

Seven years after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway invested $300 million in White Mountains Insurance Group, it is selling its 16.3 percent stake in a $836 million deal.

In a news release this morning, White Mountains CEO Ray Barrette says:

""Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway were key to the financing of our acquisition of CGU/OneBeacon in 2001, and all shareholders benefited handsomely from the relationship. White Mountains is now a larger, more diversified business, competing actively in many areas with Berkshire Hathaway. This is a graceful, value-enhancing way to go our separate ways."

Berkshire gets $751 million in cash and a White Mountains subsidiary containing Commercial Casualty Insurance Company and International American Group.

That works out to $485 per share of Bermuda-based White Mountains, which closed last week at $478. Current price:

Reuters notes that Buffett was a "long-time friend" of Jack Byrne, White Mountains' CEO at the time of the initial investment, and a key player in Geico's growth in the 1970s. At that time, Buffett was an investor. Berkshire now owns Geico.

Current Berkshire price:

Questions? Comments? Email me at buffettwatch@cnbc.com

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