Warren Buffett will retire from the Washington Post board of directors after what he calls a "great 37 years."
But he tells the Wall Street Journal that Berkshire will "keep every share of stock we have" in the company. "I would never sell a share of the Post," he says. It has "all kinds of meaning to me."
In its most recent SEC portfolio filing, Berkshire says that as of December 31, 2010, it held 1,727,765 shares. At the current stock price of $426.02, they're worth $736 million.
Berkshire is, by a large margin, the biggest institutional holderof Washington Post shares, with a 20.5 percent stake.
In a news release today, distributed by Berkshire-owned Business Wire (of course), the Post says the 80-year-old Buffett won't stand for re-election to the board, but will serve through the expiration of his current term in May.
Buffett tells the Journal, "A few years ago I wanted to get off all boards ... This was the one I hated to get off." He's been on 19 boards at one point or another.
Now, however, Buffett says he needs to focus on his own company. "As we get more complicated, I find more things taking up my time related to Berkshire."
There's no lack of mutual affection in today's news release.