DMGT, owner of the Daily Mail, has appointed boutique advisory firm Cardean Bell to explore a sale of the Metro newspaper, City A.M. understands.
The free paper could fetch up to £35m, according to reports in the Sunday Times, and potential buyers could include Trinity Mirror, The i owner Johnston Press and newspaper veteran David Montgomery's shell company National World.
Metro was launched in 1999, and distributes in towns and cities across the UK. According to its own figures, it has a current readership of almost 2m people.
The move comes just over a year after DMGT appointed a new chief executive, Paul Zwillenberg. Zwillenberg joined from management advisory firm Boston Consulting Group, and according to the Sunday Times is keen to “streamline” the Daily Mail's parent business.
DMGT has a massive portfolio outside of newspapers, including catastrophe modelling group RMS, business-to-business intelligence company DMG Information and DMG Events.
It also holds large stakes in business-to-business information and events group Euromoney and Zoopla owner ZPG, though DMGT has also sold down a £315m stake in Euromoney since Zwillenberg took the helm.