Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Metro' Poised to Be Latin America's Biggest Newspaper

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Metro' Poised to Be Latin America's Biggest Newspaper

Article excerpt

Metro International, the big publisher of free commuter dailies worldwide, has retreated from the U.S. market, and even pulled back in some European cities. But Tuesday it announced a franchise agreement and joint venture to relaunch two Metro papers in Ecuador -- a move it says will make its formatted paper the largest in Latin America.

Metro's agreement is with Grupo Hoy, a multimedia company that publishes Metro Hoy in Quito and Metro Quil in Guayaquil. Combined as Metro Ecuador, the papers are the fourth most-read in the nation.

The papers will relaunch Wednesday using Metro's global newspaper format.

The joint venture, called Diarios Unidos del Ecuador S.A., or Diunesa, has acquired 100% of the Metro Ecuador papers. Metro said it will initially hold a 15% equity interest in Diunesa with an option to increase the stake in the future. Metro said will account for its interest in the company as equity participation and will also receive franchise fees reflecting Metro International's operational support of the joint venture. Grupo Hoy said the joint venture with Metro represents the first-ever foreign investment in newspapers in Ecuador. …

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