Friday 24 November 2017

Pearson lining-up Financial Times disposal

A sale may value the business at as much as €1.4bn
A sale may value the business at as much as €1.4bn

Kristen Schweizer, Matthew Campbell and Alex Sherman

Media group Pearson is exploring a sale of the 'Financial Times' after receiving interest from potential buyers, according to people familiar with the matter.

London-based Pearson is sounding out possible bidders for the salmon-coloured newspaper, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. A sale may value the business at as much as £1bn (€1.4bn), two of the people said though some analysts say that figure is high.

While no formal process is under way, the 'Financial Times' may draw interest from media companies such as Axel Springer SE as well as investors in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the people said. The FT's circulation reached 720,000 last year, with paid digital subscriptions accounting for 70pc of the total.

Pearson has a market value of about £10.3bn.

Discussions over a disposal, which have been on and off for years, have heated up as Pearson chief executive officer John Fallon focuses on tackling a slowdown in the education unit weighed on by declining US college enrolments and falling textbook sales.

No final decision has been made and Pearson may decide to keep the newspaper, the people said. Pearson and Axel Springer declined to comment. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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