Japanese media group Nikkei has agreed to buy the Financial Times from Britain's Pearson in a $1.3 billion deal. As Sonia Legg reports it brings together two leading financial news organisations from Europe and Asia.
It was first published in 1893 and has had the same owner for 60 years. But the pink-paged Financial Times - the voice of London's financial centre - is being sold to the Japanese. Media group Nikkei will pay Pearson $1.3 billion and bring together two of the world's leading financial news organisations. The deal doesn't include the FT Group's 50 percent stake in The Economist or its London headquarters on the bank of the Thames. But it boosted Pearson shares by 2 percent. Chris Beauchamp is from IG. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, IG, SAYING: "Pearson finds itself in an environment where you have revenues declining even with hopes of turnaround in its education unit in the States. The sale of the FT allows it ot raise the cash hopefully for investment purposes." The buyer's name came as a surprise - Bloomberg and Axel Springer were initially linked to the sale. Many - including sources at the FT itself - reportedly favoured the German media group over the US ONE. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, IG, SAYING: "The FT did sit well within Pearson's stable of companies and certainly previous editors were determined there was no way the FT would be sold and that's now a major departure from previous views of the situation." The FT has done a better job than most in adapting to the digital revolution. Full-year results for 2014 showed it increased its circulation by 10 percent to a record high of nearly 720,000. Two thirds of those were digital subscriptions. The CEO of Nikkei says the two organisations share the same journalistic values. And he's proud to be on the same team. It's early days of course but for once the FT is making its own news.