Nikkei pays £844 million in cash for the Financial Times Group

Fri, 24 Jul 2015 | BUSINESS SALE

Japanese media firm Nikkei has stepped in to buy the Financial Times Group from Pearson for £844 million in cash.

Rumours surrounding Pearson's possible sell off of the newspaper surfaced on Monday with whispers of a £1 billion price tag, leading Peel Hunt analyst Alex DeGroote to remark that he would “eat his hat” if the “extraordinary valuation” was met.

Former Financial Times editor Richard Lambert told the BBC World Service that the news of the buyer came as a surprise.

He said: “Nikkei only came into the frame, as I understand it, fairly recently. Those that were interested in it were expecting Axel Springer to be the buyer, but clearly Nikkei came with a knock-out punch.”

Nikkei clearly feels there are synergies between the two groups. Its head Tsuneo Kita spoke of his pride in the team-up.

“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.”

For its cash purchase Nikkei is taking on the Financial Times daily paper, and a handful of other business-related publications including the Banker, MandateWire, Medley Global Advisors and Investors Chronicle.

Launched in 1888 the Financial Times' paid print and digital circulation stands at 720,000, with 70 per cent of its readers coming through its website. Digital subscriptions crept ahead of print circulation in 2012.

Our coverage of this story on Tuesday - Is the Financial Times really for sale this time?


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