Der Spiegel in talks to buy German Financial Times

Financial Times publisher Pearson is considering selling its stake in FT Deutschland – the German-language edition of the business paper – to focus instead on growing the English-language title abroad.

According to a report in today’s FT, the publisher has been approached by Spiegel Verlag – owner of the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel – which is looking to buy Pearson’s 50 per cent stake in FT Deutschland.

The title was set up in 2000 as a joint venture between Pearson and publisher Gruner & Jahr and has a circulation of around 100,000. According to the FT, the German paper is not forecast to break even until 2008.

The move would have to be approved by staff at Der Spiegel – who own half of the shares in Spiegel Verlag.

If successful, the sale will be the latest in a series of moves by Pearson to exit the European market and make way for the English-language FT to grow into a global brand.

In 2004, Pearson sold its stake in Expansion – a Spanish-language business title – and is currently in talks with LVMH to sell the French financial newspaper, Les Echos.

According to the August national newspaper ABCs, 69 per cent of the FT’s 426,830 circulation comes from overseas sales.

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