A bidding war for the Financial Times saw a last minute battle between Germany’s Axel Springer and eventual winner, Japan’s Nikkei, the FT reports.
The Japanese media giant managed to trump Axel Springer with an “eleventh hour bid”, the FT said.
Meanwhile FT publisher Pearson reported a first half loss of £115m compared with £36m a year earlier.
Pearson blamed a £70m balance sheet write down related to selling its US PowerSchool business.
But its shares rose more than 2% in early trading after it boosted its dividend.
10 minutes to go
Axel Springer had wooed Pearson for a long time to be in a position to make an offer for the FT, whereas Nikkei only began its courtship five weeks ago, the FT said.
In a dramatic last minute flurry, Nikkei managed to clinch the deal in the final 10 minutes of discussions, it added.
Nikkei – an abbreviation of “Nihon Keizai Shinbun” which means “Japanese Economic Newspaper” – is a widely respected Japanese business publication.
The broadsheet dominates Japanese-language business media with 3.16-million paid subscribers, of which 430,000 are online.
The Japanese newspaper had been trying to break into English-speaking international markets for decades, but had not enjoyed wide success outside of Japan.
Publishing group Pearson announced on Thursday that it had agreed to sell the Financial Times Group to Nikkei for £844m.