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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Sells Off Newspaper Division to Lee Enterprises for $140 Million

”I am confident that our newspapers will be in the right hands going forward,“ Buffett says

Lee Enterprises, Inc. a large local news distributor, has entered into a definitive agreement with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway to acquire BH Media Group’s publications, including “The Buffalo News,” for $140 million in cash, according to a Wednesday announcement.

Buffett’s media group owns the print and digital operations of 30 daily newspapers, more than 49 paid weekly publications with digital sites and 32 other print products, all across 10 states. Adding those publications will bring Lee Enterprises’ portfolio of daily newspapers up to 81 from 50, nearly doubling its audience size.

According to Wednesday’s announcement, the acquisition is expected to drive an 87% increase in revenue, totaling $20-25 million of anticipated annual revenue and cost synergies.

Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway’s chairman and CEO, said, “My partner Charlie Munger and I have known and admired the Lee organization for over 40 years. They have delivered exceptional performance managing BH Media’s newspapers and continue to outpace the industry in digital market share and revenue. We had zero interest in selling the group to anyone else for one simple reason: We believe that Lee is best positioned to manage through the industry’s challenges.

“I am confident that our newspapers will be in the right hands going forward,” he added.