Buffett Takes Stake in Lee for Newspapers, More to Come? (LEE, BRK-A, BRK-B, MEG, GCI, MNI, DJCO, BLC)

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Lee Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: LEE) is a tiny media company with news and advertising.  It serves midsize and small markets in the United States with 52 daily and 39 Sunday newspapers, as well as with 300 weekly newspapers and niche publications.  With a $59.5 million valuation, it should be too small for the likes of Warren Buffett and his team.

After the close came an amended 13-F filing which shows that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE BRK-A) NYSE: BRK-B) filed in mid-May for a confidentiality arrangement with the SEC.  The filing shows that Berkshire took a 1.655 million share stake in Lee worth over $2 million and this is a move which most like fits in with its latest efforts in buying papers from Media General Inc. (NYSE: MEG) with a deep financing pact.

If you go back to when Buffett made the newspaper acquisition in mid-May we named Lee Enterprises as one of the other potential beneficiaries.  Some of the other companies with high concentrations in newspapers are Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Daily Journal Corp. (NASDAQ: DJCO), and A. H. Belo Corporation (NYSE: BLC).

The SEC denied Berkshire Hathaway’s request for confidential treatment on May 25 according to this full filing.

Here is a full list of the Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway equity holdings, excluding those holdings where the firm had received confidential treatment.

JON C. OGG