Lee Enterprises is buying Berkshire-Hathaway’s newspaper group of 30 dailies that is spearheaded by The Buffalo News for $140M in cash.
B-H is providing $575M in long-term financing to Lee, which will use the proceeds to pay for the acquisition and refinance about $400M in debt.
Lee has managed BH Media Group, which registered $374M in 2019 revenues and $47M in EBITDA, for the past 18 months. The deal will boost its daily newspaper portfolio to 81 and double its audience size.
B-H CEO Warren Buffett said Lee had done an exceptional job in managing BH Media. “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,” he said in a statement. "No organization is more committed to serving the vital role of high-quality local news, however, delivered, as Lee.”
BH Media’s papers include the Omaha World-Herald, Tulsa World, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Waco Tribune-Herald, Winston-Salem Journal, The Roanoke Times and The Press of Atlantic City.