Pearson has decided to sell the Financial Times to a “global, digital news company” after owning the business newspaper for nearly 60 years, a source said yesterday.
Pearson, which has become the world’s leading education provider, later confirmed that it was in advanced discussions regarding a potential disposal of FT group, which includes the pink-paged paper, its website and its share in the Economist, but declined to provide further details.
Analysts and investors have long expected the 171-year-old Pearson to sell the FT at some point, after it changed strategy to focus on education.
Media reports have suggested potential buyers could include Bloomberg and German newspaper publisher Axel Springer.
A Reuters report said the newspaper was being sold to a global, digital news company.
A spokesman said no further comment was being added to the brief statement disclosed to the stock market.
The Financial Times was launched in 1888 and was first printed on pink paper five years later. It was bought by Pearson in 1957.
The FT group also includes a 50% stake in The Economist.
Shares rose earlier in the week on recent speculation about its sale.
Pearson, which has now become the world leader in education publishing, is said to want to focus on its strategy in this sector and no longer on the media.
The group is due to publish half-year results tomorrow.