OLD Media Moves

Pearson seeks sale of Financial Times

November 6, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

Pearson Plc is planning to explore a sale of the Financial Times newspaper, as the company focuses on its faster-growing education business, people with knowledge of the situation said.

Matthew Campbell, Edmund Lee and Serena Saittoof Bloomberg News write, “The company has decided to consider offers for the newspaper this year, said the people, who declined to be identified because the process is private. Pearson may initiate sale preparations ahead of the departure of Marjorie Scardino, the chief executive officer, who is stepping down in January, said one person. Pearson has not hired an investment bank to advise on the sale, the people said.

“During her 16-year tenure, Scardino defended her company’s ownership of the Financial Times, Britain’s flagship financial daily, for which Pearson may seek as much as 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion), a person familiar with the matter said. The paper is worth at least $1 billion, two other people said. FT Group accounts for about 8 percent of Pearson’s revenue and 12 percent of profit.

“Potential bidders may include wealthy individuals from Russia, the Middle East or Asia, as well as Bloomberg LP, one of the people said. Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, has made an offer for the newspaper before and been turned down, another person said.”

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