Berkshire Denied Confidential Treatment on Lee Enterprises Stake
Today : Tuesday 5 June 2012
By Erik Holm
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rejected an effort by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRKA, BRKB) to avoid disclosing its stake in newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises Inc. (LEE).
After the effort to keep the holding confidential was rejected, Berkshire revealed in a regulatory filing Tuesday it held about 1.66 million shares, or about 3%, of Lee Enterprises as of March 31.
The request to keep the stake a secret was denied on May 25, Berkshire said. The filing doesn't say why the SEC denied the request for the so-called "confidential treatment," which it sometimes grants to major investors as they build or dismantle large positions.
But it may be because the stake wasn't much of a secret. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that Berkshire had purchased $85 million in Lee Enterprises loans that were slated to be exchanged into junior debt and equity as part of the company's bankruptcy proceedings in January.
The last time Berkshire was given the chance to keep a new investment hidden for a time, Mr. Buffett was building a massive new position in International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) last year.
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