Metro International Gets Buy-Out Offer; Will Consider Alongside Refinancing

Struggling European freesheet publisher Metro International says it has received a buyout offer from an unnamed suitor – a day before bosses plan to ask shareholders’ permission to raise new financing.

The board of the Luxembourg-based Swedish company, that will leave its Fleet Street HQ this year, had planned to ask shareholders, at Tuesday’s general meeting, for a green light to raise money through issuing new debentures and warrants. But it said on Monday afternoon its owner Kinnevik “has received a preliminary indication of interest from a potential acquirer of Metro International”. That means the board may not go ahead with the refinancing even if shareholders agree, though it is still recommending shareholders vote for the refinancing as planned.

Metro is printed in 23 countries but its free, ad-supported model looks under threat. Sales dipped 11 percent to