Which would you rather own 63 newspapers or 82 Taco Bells?
Media General announced this morning that it would be selling its newspapers, except the Tampa Tribune, to Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway. The company will receive $142 million cash for its 63 papers and a $400 million loan that will allow the company to pay off its debt.
I would never begin to doubt Warren Buffet’s business acumen, but if I had to spend $142 million in cash, I think I would buy 83 Taco Bell franchises, which is how many of the burrito joints one could buy if they had $142 million laying around.
A stand-alone Taco Bell franchise runs between $1,200,000 and $1,700,000, although these figures do not include the land or lease costs.
Honestly though, which do you genuinely predict will still be around in five years: The local Daily Bugle News Gazette or a restaurant that offers tacos cased in Doritos shells?
My money would be on burritos.