Pearson, which has owned the newspaper for almost 60 years, confirmed that it was in advanced talks with a potential buyer, but would not name the bidder. Among those thought to be interested are German media giant Axel Springer, Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters, owner of wire service Reuters, which broke the story.
Pearson said in a statement: “Pearson notes recent press speculation and confirms that it is in advanced discussions regarding the potential disposal of FT Group, although there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction.”
Pearson shares rose 2.2% on the news. The sale of the FT Group could raise up to £1 billion ($1.56 billion), according to reports.
The circulation of the Financial Times, which was first published in 1888, was almost 720,000 across print and online last year. Digital subscriptions represented 70% of the total. The FT Group owns a non-controlling 50% stake in the Economist magazine.