by Tatiana Repkova
Metro International S.A. announced that it has entered into a joint venture and franchise agreement with Grupo Bandeirantes de Comunicação, one of the leading television broadcasters in Brazil. A new edition of Metro will be launched in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 7, 2007.
Metro International has a 29.99% interest in the joint venture operation and will account for its interest in the company as an equity participation. Metro International will also receive a franchise fee reflecting Metro International's significant operational support of the joint venture. Grupo Bandeirantes owns the remaining shares in the joint venture and the operation will benefit from cross sales synergies with Grupo Bandeirantes' as well as Group Banderantes' considerable expertise of the Brazilian media market. Metro will initially distribute 150,000 copies in Sao Paulo under the name Publimetro, a brand name which is already strongly established in Chile and Mexico.
Publimetro will be one of the largest daily newspapers in Sao Paulo as well as one of Latin America's most-read titles. Sao Paulo, Brazil's leading economic centre, is the fifth largest city in the world, with 18 million inhabitants, and is an ideal addition to the network of Metro International's global operations. Zenith Optimedia estimated Brazil's gross newspaper advertising market grew 10 percent year-on-year in 2006 to c. US$ 1.2 billion, making it Latin America's largest newspaper advertising market. http://cws.huginonline.com/M/132142/PR/200704/1118282_5.html; April 11, 2007