Business World

Monday 11 December 2017

Buffett's firm buys chain of newspapers

Zachary Tracer

BERKSHIRE Hathaway agreed to pay $142m (€112m) for a chain of US newspapers called Media General as investor Warren Buffett bets community-focused publications will weather an advertising slump.

Berkshire will also provide Media General with a $400m term loan with an interest rate of 10.5pc, the Virginia-based newspaper company said yesterday.

Berkshire is expanding in newspapers after purchasing Mr Buffett's hometown paper, the 'Omaha World-Herald', last year.

The company is also the largest holder of the holding company of the 'Washington Post' and owns the 'Buffalo News' of New York.

Mr Buffett, Berkshire's chairman and chief executive, is expanding his holdings after telling shareholders in 2009 that papers have "potential for unending losses" and that he wouldn't buy most of them "at any price".

"I think there is a future for newspapers that exist in an area where there's a sense of community," Mr Buffett said at Berkshire's agm earlier this month.

The deal includes 63 daily and weekly newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. (Bloomberg)

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