Nikkei snaps up FT Group from Pearson for £844m

FT Group, the holding company of the Financial Times has been sold to global news firm Nikkei Inc for £844m.

Japan’s Nikkei acquired the UK broadsheet from Pearson on Thursday afternoon (23 July). The deal, which was weeks in the making, saw Evercore, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Cazenove advise Pearson, and Rothschild Group guide Nikkei.

John Fallon, Pearson’s chief executive, said: “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.”

Tsuneo Kita, chairman and group chief executive of Nikkei, said: “I am extremely proud of teaming up with the Financial Times, one of the most prestigious news organizations 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. We share the same journalistic values. Together, we will strive to contribute to the development of the global economy.”

Alternative interest from German-based Axel Springer was also confirmed but ultimately fell short of Nikkei’s bid.

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

The news came just hours after Pearson confirmed a 'global digital news company' was interested in acquiring FT Group.

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