23rd July 2015
Pearson confirmed it “is in advanced discussions” regarding the potential sale of the Financial Times.
According to a report in The Guardian, German publishing group Axel Springer is emerging as the most likely buyer.
The disposal of the FT Group would mark the end of Pearson’s 58-year ownership of newspaper. It would also represent an expansive leap for the Berlin-based media group, whose flagship title is tabloid Bild. Last year it made €3bn in revenues.
Reuters first reported rumours over the sale on Thursday morning. Shares in the FTSE 100 listed group jumped by almost 2%, to 1,228p on Thursday afternoon following the news.
Commenting on the press speculation, Pearson issued a statement. It said it is “in advanced discussions regarding the potential disposal of FT Group although there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction. A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate”.
FT revenues pale in comparison to Pearson’s education business revenues but the sale of the FT, which dates back to 1888, could net Pearson up to £1bn.
According to the report a recent analyst note put the FT’s value at between £750m and £1bn, with the paper worth £500m. The biggest question mark is the value of its 50% stake in the Economis