Berkshire Exercises Media General Warrants, Has 17% Stake

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has exercised warrants in Media General Inc. to acquire 4.65 million shares of common stock.

Berkshire paid 1 cent a share under the agreement and now has about 17 percent of the stock, Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based company said today in a regulatory filing. Richmond, Virginia-based Media General closed at $5.07 in New York.

Buffett got the warrants as part of a deal in May in which he agreed to pay $142 million for Media General newspapers including the Richmond Times-Dispatch and provide a $400 million term loan with an interest rate of 10.5 percent. Buffett, 82, also won the right to appoint a director at Media General, which retains television properties, and last week nominated Wyndham Robertson to the board.

Robertson, who had been on the board from 1996 to 2005, “will provide valuable perspective as Media General moves ahead as a pure-play television broadcaster,” J. Stewart Bryan, the company’s chairman, said in a Sept. 20 statement.

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