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Property developers Nick and Christian Candy make a play for the Financial Times

Luxury property developers Nick and Christian Candy are reported to have made an attempt to buy the Financial Times.

The move prompts questions about the ownership of the newspaper which could be valued at £790 million if a competitive auction were to be held.

According to The Times the brothers are among a number of potential buyers - including Mukesh Ambani, one of the richest men in India, Bloomberg and several private equity firms - that have contacted current owners Pearson about buying the publication.

Despite former Pearson chief executive Dame Marjorie Scardino declaring that the Financial Times would be sold "over my dead body" successor John Fallon has said the board "constantly reassesses whether Pearson is the best possible owner" for the newspaper.

Though a spokesperson for the publisher has said: "We do not comment on speculation about our portfolio."

Reports suggest the Candy brothers are not only interested in the prestige of owning the newspaper but also a potentially lucrative 'property play' as the FT's office occupies a prime spot on the South Bank of the Thames which could be turned into luxury flats.

Combining both digital and print assets the FT's circulation has risen eight per cent in the last year with a 31 per cent increase in digital subscriptions.