Financial Times gets acquired by Nikkei group
English business newspaper - The Financial Times was sold to Nikkei group, a Japanese digital media entity for £ 844 Million. FT was earlier owned by Pearson, an educational publisher and this new acquisition was an all-cash transaction. It was also announced by Pearson that Nikkei would contribute a sum of £ 90 Million towards the Pearson group pension scheme.
The Financial Times, an international business newspaper was founded by James Sheridan and Horation Bottomley in 1888. Financial News another such business paper and FT merged in 1945. FT group also owns FT.com, FT Search Inc, FT Press, and a 50% stake in The Economist. Pearson PLC, the educational publisher acquired a stake in 1957 and has published FT since then.
FT introduced "metered pay-wall" that gave access to a set of free articles each month before asking for payment. It also re-branded itself and came up with a new tagline "We Live in Financial Times" in 2007.
Pearson contemplated selling of its 50% stake in The Economist. Pearson announced that the return from the investments in The Economist had dropped due to the falling print-advertising revenue. This also hinted at Pearson's growing interest among digital and marketing avenues as shown by the increased investment. The valuation of the deal was anticipated to be around £ 570 Million.
In January 2014, the global editions of the paper had an average every-day circulation of 234,193 copies. FT sold 629,000 copies in October 2013 to clinch its largest circulation since its inception.
Pearson announced an inclination to sell The Financial Times to another company. The decision came in when Pearson decided to wholly devote itself to educational publishing and let-go of media and business publishing. The deal was touted to value around £ 1 Billion. Several established names like Bloomberg, Axel Springer (a German publisher) and Thomson Reuters were speculated as prospective buyers for the deal.