Metro International divests US dailies

The US operations of Metro International SA, publisher of free dailies, have been sold to former Metro CEO Pelle Tornberg. Metro International, which cited loss of revenue in the US division as a reason for the sale, is taking a loss of $2 million on the sale, the AP reported.

Tornberg’s new venture, Seabay Media Holdings LLC, will now run the New YorkPhiladelphia and Boston daily Metros, which have a combined circulation of 590,000. Per the agreement, Seabay will continue to publish all three papers and will continue to publish the Boston daily through a partnership with the Boston Globe. The three will continue to be past of Metro International’s global advertising packages. The sale is expected to close at the first of June.

“We are excited and look forward to continuing the business after completion and to further develop Metro in the United States,” said  Pelle Törnberg, founder and CEO of Seabay Media, in a statement. “In the current economic situation advertisers are looking to brands like Metro that represent a strong offering through better value and reach.”

Metro International cited falling revenues in the US division as a reason for the sale. The publisher has retained its Metro dailies in 21 other countries and the AP reports that the company will focus on growth opportunities in Latin America, Asia and Russia.

Metro publishes 69 editions in 93 major cities in 21 countries across Europe, the Americas and Asia. Readership is split nearly evenly between men and women, and  70% of Metro readers are under the age of  45, the company reports.

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