Financial Times sold for just £844m to Japan’s Nikkei

The Financial Times has been sold to Japanese media company Nikkei for £844m, it has been confirmed.

Education provider and publisher Pearson has owned the 127-year-old business newspaper for almost 60 years, but has sold the FT in order to focus on its education strategy, the company said.

The sale does not include the FT’s prime riverside office in Southwark, and Pearson will also retain its 50% ownership of the Economist.

After rumours the paper would be sold for more than £1bn, some FT readers expressed disbelief at the sums involved in the sale.

“The FT, with its history, global influence & collection of learned writers, is worth less than JK Rowling,” wrote one on the paper’s website.

Nikkei is one of the largest media organisations in Japan.

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.

“Pearson will now be 100% focused on our global education strategy. The world of education is changing profoundly and we see huge opportunity to grow our business through increasing access to high quality education globally.

Nikkei has a long and distinguished track record of quality, impartiality and reliability in its journalism and global viewpoint. The Board and I are confident that the FT will continue to flourish under Nikkei’s ownership”.

Tsuneo Kita, chairman and group CEO 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.”

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