Pearson sells FT Deutschland stake

Financial Times parent company Pearson has sold its 50 percent stake in German business paper FT Deutschland for an undisclosed sum.

Gruner & Jahr, which already owns the other half of the business, is expected to take full control of the title by the end of March, subject to regulatory approval.

Under the terms of the deal, announced this morning, FT Deutschland will continue using the FT name and content from the English-language Financial Times.

The title, which launched in 2000, has a circulation of around 105,000 but has yet to turn a profit. Newspaper reports earlier this month valued Pearson’s 50 percent stake at around £11m.

Pearson has been looking to sell the German title since last September, when it was reported to be in talks with the publisher of news weekly Der Spiegel. 

The deal is the latest in a series of moves by the publisher 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 last November, it agreed to sell its French financial newspaper group, Les Echos, to LVMH for €240m (£170m).

Financial Times Group chief executive Rona Fairhead said: “We are incredibly proud to have played a part in launching and building a leading business newspaper in Germany. 

“However, the FT Group is increasingly focused on the worldwide expansion of the Financial Times and our digital financial information businesses.

“FT Deutschland no longer fits within that strategy, but we are very pleased to have found such a good home for a great newspaper.”

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