Media General, Inc. announced that it will sell its 63 print assets, which includes the Richmond Times-Dispatch, to Berkshire Hathaway, the company founded by Warren Buffet.
Media General, Inc. announced that it will sell its 63 print assets, which includes the Richmond Times-Dispatch, to Berkshire Hathaway, the company founded by Warren Buffet. Berkshire Hathaway will purchase the print assets (with the exception of the Tampa group) for $142 million in cash. The company will also provide Media General with a $400 million term loan and a $45 million revolving credit line.
The newspapers that are being purchased include daily and weekly titles in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Alabama, in addition to digital assets.
Full press release here.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Berkshire Hathaway (BH) executives met with Times-Dispatch employees about the pending sale for approximately 30 minutes at newspaper’s headquarters downtown.
BH Media president, Terry Kroeger, informed employees that Warren Buffet regretted not being able to attend the meeting, but asked for Kroeger to convey that “he is so pleased about this” proposed sale.
When asked about how BH Media will operate the local paper, Kroeger said that he expects “blending ideas” between Richmond and BH.
Douglas Hiemstra, the BH executive who will head the transition in Richmond, said that it has been uncommon for BH to implement major cuts in staffing after a purchase.
In a release announcing the sale, Warren Buffet (who purchased his hometown newspaper the Omaha World-Herald last November) said:
“In towns and cities where there is a strong sense of community, there is no more important institution than the local paper,” said Warren Buffett, Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. “The many locales served by the newspapers we are acquiring fall firmly in this mold and we are delighted they have found a permanent home with Berkshire Hathaway.”
The sale, pending government review, is expected to close June 25th. Berkshire Hathaway also owns the Buffalo News and is the largest shareholder of the Washington Post Co.