One of the world’s oldest financial newspapers, Financial Times of London which is about 127-year-old and whose pink paper pages are as much a symbol of the City as the pinstriped suit, is to be sold to a Japanese financial media company Nikkei by its British owners for £844m.
The paper is read and subscribed to by many financial analysts, government agencies, and multi-national/international companies across the world.
British owner, Pearson bought the Financial Times popularly called FT in 1957, said it had decided to sell in order to focus on its far larger educational publishing business in the US. John Fallon, Pearson’s chief executive, said: “Education and journalism are both great and noble callings but they are not the same thing and require different skills, capabilities and intensity of focus.
The sale to Nikkei by Pearson, which comes after years of speculation over its long-term commitment to owning the FT, demonstrates the eagerness of cash-rich international investors looking to expand into a financial news landscape dominated by the English language.
“Pearson has been a proud proprietor of the FT for nearly 60 years. But we’ve reached an inflection point in media, driven by the explosive growth of mobile and social. In this new environment, the best way to ensure the FT’s journalistic and commercial success is for it to be part of a global, digital news company.”
Little known in the UK, Nikkei – founded in 1876 – is one of the largest media companies in Japan, spanning newspapers, broadcasting, magazines and digital media. The group includes a flagship newspaper of the same name, which has 3 million subscribers, TV Tokyo and finance and a business news channel, Nikkei CNBC.
Meanwhile, the sale of FT does not include Pearson’s frequently coveted 50% share in the Economist group or the FT’s headquarters building by the Thames in London. Under the terms of the deal Nikkei, which is the largest independent business media group in Asia, will pay a commercial rent for the FT’s building once the takeover is finalised at the end of the year.
Credit: Guardian UK.