Torstar Corp. , the publisher of the Toronto Star, is investing more heavily in free newspapers.
The company announced Friday it has spent $51.5-million to increase its stake in the Metro newspaper business, which distributes free daily papers designed for commuters, to 90 per cent. Its previous share in the business was roughly 50 per cent.
Metro International SA, which publishes Metro newspapers around the world, will remain a minority partner.
Torstar has had an interest in the jointly owned Metro papers since 2001, when it launched a Toronto edition in a 50-50 partnership with Metro International. The Metro papers are now published in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Winnipeg and London.
"We have been very happy with the significant evolution of the Metro newspaper operation over the past decade," Torstar chief executive officer David Holland said in a statement on Friday.