Japanese media group Nikkei will buy Britain's Financial Times for £838.4 million. Kirsty Basset reports on whether they got a good deal, and what it might mean for the future of the famously pink paper.
It's Japan's must-read financial newspaper with a circulation of more than 3 million. But media Group Nikkei's ambitions just got bigger, following the news it will buy Britain's Financial Times for almost 840 million pounds. Nikkei Chairman, Tsuneo Kita. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) CHAIRMAN AND GROUP CEO OF NIKKEI, TSUNEO KITA, SAYING: "FT and Nikkei will align their directions forward to become a true global media (company) that covers Asia, Europe and the United States, and grow together." Despite the fact the British business paper has sometimes been critical of its new owner, Nikkei is adamant the FT's editorial independence will be kept intact. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) CHAIRMAN AND GROUP CEO OF NIKKEI, TSUNEO KITA, SAYING: "I won't try to change FT's management or editorial styles. FT will remain unchanged as the FT." The FT enjoys a loyal readership and has coped well in transitioning to the digital age. It was one of the first websites to successfully charge for its online content and now 70 per cent of its subscribers are digital. But is Nikkei paying too much for the prized pink asset? London Capital Group analyst Brenda Kelly. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD ANALYST AT LONDON CAPITAL GROUP, BRENDA KELLY, SAYING: "I think the FT may have been slightly overpriced for them. But ultimately I do feel that the FT has captured a lot of that particular market and it should work out for them in the longer term." Pearson, which is selling the FT, saw its shares rise more than 3 per cent after increasing its dividend and confirming guidance. The sale ends years of speculation over the FT, which was seen as an anomaly in Pearson's education-heavy group. The sale is expected to be closed later this year.