Pearson sells FT Group to Japanese media group Nikkei for £844m

Japanese media company Nikkei has agreed to buy the Financial Times Group for £844m in cash, beating German publishing firm Axel Springer, which was believed to be in advanced talks with Pearson.

Financial Times: Sold to Nikkei (Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Financial Times: Sold to Nikkei (Credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Tsuneo Kita, chairman and group CEO of Nikkei, said his firm shared the same journalistic values as the FT.

"I am extremely proud of teaming up with the Financial Times, one of the most prestigious news organisations in the world. Our motto of providing high quality reporting on economic and other news, while maintaining fairness and impartiality, is very close to that of the FT," he said.

Earlier on Thursday, Pearson released a statement acknowledging that it was in talks to sell the FT, but did not name any potential buyers and said that negotiations may not necessarily lead to a sale.

The FT was first published as a four-page newspaper in 1888 and was bought by Pearson in 1957. It now employs 500 journalists in more than 50 locations around the world.

In 2014, the FT Group contributed £334m of sales and £24m of adjusted operating income to Pearson.

As of April 2015, the newspaper's total daily global circulation across print and online was 722,000, up 12 per cent year-on-year. Digital circulation represents 70 per cent of that total, and mobile drives almost half of all traffic.

Pearson will now be 100 per cent focused on its global education business, according to a company statement.

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