Metro launches in Dublin after deal struck with Irish Times

DUBLIN - The Metro newspaper hit Dublin streets this morning as a joint venture between Associated Newspapers, Metro International and The Irish Times.

The free newspaper, which will have a target circulation of 50,000 and will be distributed Monday to Friday. Associated, which operates the Metro in parts of the UK along with Trinity Mirror and Guardian Media Group, will have an initial 90% stake in the venture with Metro International taking 10%.

However, subject to competition clearance this ownership structure will change with Metro International holding an option to increase its stake up to 33.3% and Associated and The Irish Times sharing the remaining equity.

Maeve Donovan, managing director of the Irish Times, welcomed the venture, saying: "Dublin is the latest significant European city to make a daily edition of Metro available to its young urban professionals. The Irish Times has always believed in the need to embrace market change. We are forming a partnership with two very successful international publishers in bringing Metro -- a publishing success story -- to Ireland."

Metro, a 40-page, full-colour publication, will be distributed by hand around the city and will also be available at bus stops and Dart stations.

Lee Thompson, the managing director of Metro in Ireland, said: "This represents a new era for newspapers in this market."

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