An entrepreneur active in the field of digital advertising has submitted a purchase offer at a knockdown price for the remains of the Métro newspaper.

Pierre-Antoine Fradet, CEO of Montreal-based Atedra and New York-based Adstanding, is offering $50,000 for the bankrupt company’s computers, name, analytical data and intellectual property, told La Presse employees aware of the matter.

The offer, which was communicated to ex-employees, does not imply business continuity for this local media outlet which already employed nearly 70 people, half of them in the editorial department, before ceasing its activities on August 11.

This is a disappointment for the latter, since Mr. Fradet had submitted an offer in October which implied business continuity, under certain conditions.

This offer was deemed unsatisfactory by the trustee in the file, Stéphane De Broux, of KPMG, who invited Mr. Fradet to clarify it and gave him time to do so.

According to employees, the recent much lower offer – and without mention of a raise – is mainly explained by the buyer abandoning, this time, tax credits which remain in the company’s assets and which could have helped with the resumption of activities: “Basically, he offers $27,000 for computers and $23,000 for the newspaper’s name, intellectual property and archives, which probably contain analytical data that has some value for an advertiser,” a former Métro journalist told La Presse. “The idea of ​​rehiring employees is no longer there. It’s not clear what the buyer wants to do. This is disappointing for us, even though after 4 months, many have moved elsewhere. »

“There doesn’t seem to be any stimulus in this new offer, in any case, it’s not indicated. We would like to have more information on his intentions. It is unclear. With the new offer, it looks like his intention is to buy data and computers,” another ex-employee told La Presse.

Mr. Fradet could not be reached at the telephone number of his Montreal company.

His second offer was made on December 18 and expires on December 21 at 5 p.m.

In his October offer, which proposed business continuity, Mr. Fradet did not specify what direction he intended to give the company or what functions could be entrusted to employees.

On his LinkedIn page, Mr. Fradet indicates that Atedra, founded in 2006 in Montreal, “operates its own programmatic and marketing platforms […] and works with advertising agencies and national advertisers […] and offers one of the largest offerings in digital advertising in Canada”.

The Atedra website notably claims skills in “native advertising”, which consists of creating advertising content resembling news articles. Most newspapers, such as La Presse, clearly identify this type of content so that the reader can tell the difference. Other sites integrate this content paid for by advertisers into their own content, in a more or less (or not at all) distinct graphic form.

Mr. Fradet’s other company, Adstanding, which has an address in New York, offers digital advertising services known in English by the acronym DOOH (Digital Out-Of-Home). This type of advertising is broadcast on large outdoor screens in urban areas or indoors in shopping centers, airports and other public spaces.

La Presse left a message in the voicemail of trustee De Broux, who did not return the call.

Recall that the owner of the Métro newspaper and the Métro Média holding company, Michael Raffoul, had collected a dividend of $2.67 million in the summer of 2021, a few months before the company experienced financial difficulties.