Warren Buffett increases his stake in newspapers with his latest...

Warren Buffett increases his stake in newspapers with his latest investment in Lee Enterprises. (June 5, 2012) Credit: Bloomberg

Billionaire Warren Buffett's company disclosed that it owns about 3.2 percent of the stock of newspaper company Lee Enterprises Inc.

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. had 1.66 million shares as of March 31, valued at about $2.1 million, it said in a regulatory filing Tuesday. Omaha, Neb.-based Berkshire withheld information about the stake on May 15 when the company disclosed other holdings in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC often lets Buffett conceal investment moves while he's making them because so many investors try to copy him. Berkshire said that its request to keep the Lee information confidential was denied.

Buffett has been increasing investments in newspapers, buying the Omaha World-Herald last year and striking a deal in May to acquire 63 publications, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch of Virginia from Media General Inc.

Davenport, Iowa-based Lee emerged from Chapter 11 proceedings in January and has more than 40 papers, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"Our future depends on remaining the primary source of information in certain subjects of great importance to our readers," Buffett wrote in a letter to publishers and editors of Berkshire's daily papers last month. "Technological change has caused us to lose primacy in various key areas, including national news, national sports, stock quotations and employment opportunities. So be it. Our job is to reign supreme in matters of local importance."

The billionaire didn't return a message for comment left with an assistant.

Daniel Hayes, a spokesman for Lee, said in a phone interview, "We're gratified he's taken an interest in Lee Enterprises."

Latest Videos

DON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access