Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Pays $150 Million Cash for Nebraska Newspaper

3:51 PM PST 11/30/2011 by Michael O'Connell
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The billionaire investor will close a deal to purchase Omaha World-Herald Co. by the end of 2011.

Native Nebraskan Warren Buffett is so fond of his hometown newspaper, he's buying it.

The chairman and chief executive of the Berkshire Hathaway Fund announced Wednesday the pending acquisition of the Omaha World-Herald Co.

The company, currently owned by a shareholder population of current and retired employees, publishes Nebraska's main daily newspaper of the same name and six other daily papers.

Reuters reports Omaha World-Herald Co. claims $150 million cash for the acquisition. For a paper of its circulation (just over 135,000), that works out to about $1,109 for ever subscriber. The deal also finds Berkshire Hathaway assuming the company's $50 million in debt.

"I think newspapers ... have a decent future," Buffet reportedly told the World-Herald staff. "It won't be like the past. But there are still a lot of things newspapers can do better than any other media. They not only can be sustained, but are important."

This is not Buffet's first foray into publishing. Berkshire Hathaway also owns The Buffalo News and the largest stake in The Washington Post (about 21 percent of its publicly traded shares).  

Buffet actually sat on the board of the Washington Post Company for nearly 40 years before stepping down from the position earlier in 2011.

The deal to buy Omaha World-Herald Co. will reportedly close in late December, pending shareholder approval.

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