Free newspaper group Metro sells U.S. business

STOCKHOLM Mon May 11, 2009 5:58am EDT

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STOCKHOLM May 11 (Reuters) - Free newspaper group Metro International MTROsdbb.ST said on Monday it had agreed to sell its operations in the United States to Seabay Media Holdings LLC for an undisclosed sum. The deal, due to be completed by June 1, covers publication of free dailies in New York and Philadelphia as well as a joint publication with the Boston Globe.

Metro said in a statement the three newspapers had a combined circulation of 590,000 copies per day and reached about 1.2 million readers. It said it would book a loss of about $2 million on the deal.

"Under the terms of the agreement, Seabay Media will continue to publish Metro in all three markets under a service and license agreement with Metro International," it said.

"The newspapers will also remain in Metro International's global advertising packages." (Editing by Rupert Winchester)

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