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Berkshire Hathaway repurchases $1.2 billion worth of shares

Posted at 12:37 PM, Dec 12, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-12 12:37:27-05

By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Berkshire Hathaway announced it will repurchase $1.2 billion worth of its class A shares from the estate of a long-time shareholder.

The announcement came just after the market opened for trading, and the pending news briefly halted trading in Berkshire shares. That created speculation that there was important news involving its famous Chairman Warren Buffett.

Buffett, 81, has recently completed treatment for prostate cancer. There has also been speculation about a successor plan for Berkshire. While Howard Buffett has been tapped to be the non-executive chairman of the company upon his father’s eventual departure, there has been no word as to who will be the CEO of the company.

Berkshire paid $131,000 for each of the 9,200 Class A shares, slightly above Tuesday’s $130,831 closing price. The company’s board authorized this purchase coincident with raising the price limit for repurchases to 120% of book value, which is the value at which the shares are carried on the company’s balance sheet..

Both the A shares and less pricey B shares were up just less than 2% in trading following the news.