Thomson Reuters rumoured bidder for FT
Wednesday 14 November 2012
A joint venture between Thomson Reuters and Pearson has emerged as a possible outcome to talks on the sale of the Financial Times.
That is the deal “closest to the table” in rumoured bidding for the newspaper, according to The Telegraph’s City diary editor. The private sale would be structured in a similar fashion to the recent merger of Pearson’s Penguin and Random House book publishing businesses, in which Pearson retained a 47 per cent stake.
“The shrewd money is on that kind of arrangement,” the Telegraph editor quoted “a well-placed source” saying, “since the FT is apparently ‘obsessed’ by keeping its editorial independence”.
Pearson has refused to confirm rumours that the newspaper is for sale following the resignation, effective in January, of chief executive Dame Marjorie Scardino, who once said she would only sell the FT “over my dead body”.
Talk that the FT is in play has been excited by a recent Bloomberg report that said Pearson was planning to explore its sale as the group focuses on its faster-growing education business. Reports have mentioned a price of £1 billion.
Bloomberg said potential bidders may include wealthy individuals from Russia, the Middle East or Asia, as well as Bloomberg itself, which made an offer before and was turned down. The Bloomberg report dismissed News Corp has a potential bidder due to regulatory concerns because it already owns The Times, and said Thomson Reuters may also decide not to make an offer.
Pearson swept the Bloomberg report aside, saying through a spokesman that it was “not in the habit of responding to rumours, speculation or reports about our portfolio. However, this particular Bloomberg story is wrong”.
There has been no comment from other parties mentioned in the reports. ■
- The Telegraph
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