Berkshire intended to keep the position confidential initially. But his request to keep it confidential was rejected by the SEC. Berkshire disclosed this position yesterday.
Lee is a provider of local news, information and advertising in primarily mid-size markets, with 48 daily newspapers and a joint interest in four others. It owns nearly 300 specialty publications in 23 states. In the latest shareholder meeting, Buffett said that the local newspaper will do okay in the digital age. He also bought newspapers from Media General (NYSE:MEG) lately. The stock of LEE closed yesterday at $1.15. It has lost 95% of its market value over the past five years. The stock is up more than 30% today.
In the past, Warren Buffett had kept positions while he was accumulating them confidential. He did this with Burlington Northern and IBM (NYSE:IBM). Eventually Berkshire bought all of the shares of Burlington Northern. Today LEE has a market cap of only $58 million, which is extremely small compared with the other investments Warren Buffett usually makes. Since Buffett tried to keep it confidential, it is conceivable that he will continue to buy the shares.
To learn more about LEE, please read History of Lee Enterprises - Buffett Is a 4% Owner of My Newspaper Company.
Apparently LEE is a cigar butt investment that Buffett does not do that much of these days. What drives him to buy newspapers now? Is Buffett Way off Base on Newspapers?