John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson, said the company has been a proud proprietor of the Financial Times for nearly 60 years, but it is time for the business daily to change hands.
“We’ve reached an inflection point in media, driven by the explosive growth of mobile and social. In this new environment, the best way to ensure the FT’s journalistic and commercial success is for it to be part of a global, digital news company,” he said.
Nikkei is the largest independent business media group in Asia, with flagship newspaper Nikkei as its core.
Pearson, which considers educational products and services its core business, acquired the salmon-coloured Financial Times in 1957. The FT Group includes the Financial Times, FT.com, a 50% stake in The Economist Group, and a joint venture with Vedomosti, a Russian business newspaper.
The deal with Nikkei does not include FT Group’s London headquarters or Pearson’s stake in The Economist. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and expected to close by the end of the year.
Pearson will now focus fully on its global education business, Fallon said.
Nikkei chairman Tsuneo Kita says he is “extremely proud” to team with the FT.
“We share the same journalistic values,” Kita said. Nikkei operations include print and digital media, database services and broadcasting.