Warren Buffett is spending $142m on 63 US newspapers, in a multifaceted deal with their current owner that should guarantee rapid returns from the apparently contrarian investment.
Six months after Berkshire Hathaway spent $200m on the publisher of the Omaha World Herald, Mr Buffett’s local newspaper, the billionaire former paper boy is buying most of the titles of Media General, a Virginia group that also owns 18 television stations and is in talks to sell the Tampa Tribune.
In towns and cities where there is a strong sense of community, there is no more important institution than the local paper,” Mr Buffett said. “The many locales served by the newspapers we are acquiring fall firmly in this mould and we are delighted they have found a permanent home with Berkshire Hathaway.”
The titles range from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, with an average of 164,000 Sunday readers last year, to The Culpeper Star-Exponent, with just 6,000. They are forecast to generate $30m in earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation this year.
Read the full story at FT.com