FT Group sold for $1.3B to Japanese publisher

British media and publishing company Pearson Plc inked a deal with Japanese publisher Nikkei Inc., to sell its FT Group for almost $1.3 billion in cash.

The FT Group includes The Financial Times as well as FT.com, How to Spend It, FT Labs, FTChinese, the Confidentials and Financial Publishing. The sale does not include FT Group’s London property at One Southwark Bridge or Pearson’s 50 percent stake in The Economist Group. The transaction is subject to a number of regulatory approvals and is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2015, said a statement from the company.

“Pearson has been a proud proprietor of the FT for nearly 60 years,” said John Fallon, CEO of Pearson. “But 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.”

The sale leaves Pearson poised to focus 100 percent on its educational publishing business, Fallon said.

Japanese newspaper publishing company Nikkei Inc., touts several dailies including its flagship The Nikkei as well as a variety of specialty publications that cover specific areas of the economy in depth. The Japanese language papers are known for business and economic reporting for international readers.

“Nikkei has a long and distinguished track record of quality, impartiality and reliability in its journalism and global viewpoint,” Fallon said. “The Board and I are confident that the FT will continue to flourish under Nikkei’s ownership.”

Charleston’s Rival Newspapers Just Merged. Is Two-Paper Detroit Next?

The sudden merger this week of two newspapers in Charleston, West Virginia, was big media news in that city. It also resonated here in Detroit, more than 350 miles away, for one major reason: The Motor City is one of the few two-paper towns left in the US, and that small group is now even smaller. As Charleston’s Gazette and Daily Mail become the Gazette-Mail, is that a sign that Detroit’s News and Free Press might soon follow the same path? – See more at: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/TopStories/Article/Charleston-s-Rival-Newspapers-Just-Merged–Is-Two-Paper-Detroit-Next-#sthash.INfpqwEE.dpuf