Done Deals: Lionheart Buys More Newspapers –

Weiss Peck & Greer in December closed on the purchase of eleven community newspapers throughout the Minneapolis area, expanding its newspaper holdings to 37 through platform company Lionheart Holdings LLC. A source close to the deal said the firm paid slightly more than $10 million for the purchase in equity, with senior debt financing led by CIVC Partners.

The acquisitions involved Berreth Publications, publisher of the Waconia Patriot, Norwood Young American Times, and Carver County News; Larson Publications Inc. and Stearn’s County Publishing Inc., two sister companies that publish eight weekly newspapers. Berreth Publications and Larson Publications Inc. have combined annual revenue of $10 million.

“We’re always looking for add-on acquisitions in the core markets and we hope to add on a fourth market in 2000,” the source said. The deal is part of the group’s expanding strategy of investing in local and alternative newspaper companies.

Weiss Peck is an investment management firm founded in 1970.