Financial Times denies Telegraph story claiming it is being 'touted for sale' by investment banks

Pearson has denied claims in today's Daily Telegraph that the Financial Times is being “touted for sale” by investments banks for up to £1bn.

The paper reports this morning that some of the banks involved are also offering parent company Pearson’s share in The Economist magazine and acquisitions database Mergermarket.

The latest report comes three months after the departure of former Pearson chief executive Marjorie Scardino, which immediately triggered speculation the FT Group could be sold off.

Scardino once famously said Pearson would sell the FT “over my dead body”.

In response to today's story a spokesperson for the Pearson said: "The FT is not for sale. Pearson has initiated no sale process regarding the FT, and Pearson categorically denies authorising any adviser or any bank, formally or informally, to identify or seek a purchaser for the FT."

In November the company was forced to deny a report by rival business publisher Bloomberg that it was considering offers for the newspaper of up to £1bn, as it looked to focus on its education business.

According to Telegraph “banks are courting potential buyers so that they can present the media and education group with an offer, following the pattern of previous Pearson divestments”.

It continued:

The banks are said to be seeking offers for between £740m and £1bn for the newspaper, equivalent to 37 times its projected earnings before interest, taxation and depreciation in the current financial year.

Bloomberg, the financial data company founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is tipped as the frontrunner for the title. Pearson’s 50pc stake in The Economist is being touted for around £225m, and Mergermarket is being offered for £250m.

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