BH Media

Lee pays Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway $37 million in debt repayments after furloughing staff, cutting pay

After furloughing hundreds of Lee Enterprise employees during the coronavirus economic downturn last quarter, the media company was able to pay billionaire Warren Buffet's finance company $36.7 million under the debt refinancing deal agreed to earlier this year.

Lee – owner of the Quad City Times and Dispatch/Argus and 75 other daily newspapers and online news sites – owes Buffet's BH Finance LLC more than $539 million, which carries an annual interest rate of 9 percent.

Lee Enterprises reports 49 percent drop in first quarter earnings; touts digital subscription growth

Despite a doubling of digital-only subscriptions to Lee Enterprise newspapers from a year ago, the company's first quarter earnings fell nearly 50 percent compared with the same period last year.

The company, owner of the Quad City Times and Dispatch/Argus, earned $5.7 million (9 cents per share) for the three months ended December 29, compared with $10.7 million (19 cents per share) for the same period in 2019.

Lee Enterprises to buy Berkshire Hathaway's newspaper business; $576-million Berkshire loan to finance deal and refinance existing Lee debt

Lee Enterprises announced today (1/29) it would acquire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway newspaper group for $140 million with the help of a $576-million loan from Berkshire Hathaway.

Berkshire Hathaway's newspaper group, BH Media, operates 31 daily newspapers and their online news sites, and Lee has managed those properties since July 2018.

The Berkshire Hathaway loan will not only pay for Lee's acquisition of BH Media, but refinance Lee's existing $435 million debt and provide sufficient cash to terminate Lee's existing revolving credit line.

Lee Enterprises signs deal to manage Berkshire Hathaway's newspaper, digital operations

Lee Enterprises – owner of the Quad City Times and 48 other media properties – today (6/26) announced it has agreed to a five-year deal to manage Berkshire Hathaway's newspapers and digital operations in 30 markets.

Davenport-based Lee would be paid $5 million a year by GH Media, plus "a significant percentage of profits over benchmarks," according to the company's news release.

Lee stocked jumped 62 cents, nearly 26 percent, to $3.03 per share in early morning trading.

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