Buffett's company discloses Lee Enterprises stake

June 5, 2012 - 8:26 PM

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett's company disclosed Tuesday that it owns about 3.2 percent of the stock of newspaper company Lee Enterprises Inc.

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., disclosed that it owned 1.66 million shares of Lee's stock as of March 31.

The company made the disclosure after the Securities and Exchange Commission refused to let Buffett keep the investment confidential. The SEC often lets Buffett conceal investment moves while he's making them because so many investors try to copy him.

Lee's stock surged 31 percent, or 36 cents, to $1.51 in after-hours trading after Berkshire disclosed its investment. It had closed Tuesday at $1.15, unchanged.

Last month, Berkshire announced a deal to buy 63 newspapers from Media General Inc. for $142 million. And Buffett has said Berkshire may buy more newspapers in the future despite the challenges the industry faces.

Lee, based in Davenport, Iowa, publishes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star and other newspapers.