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Latest news and features from theguardian.com, the world's leading liberal voice
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    The Economists editor-in-chief on his big-name readers and rumours that the FT will sell its 50% stake

    Asked what business model he is pursuing, John Micklethwait doesnt mention a traditional publishing rival or perhaps a digital news upstart - instead the editor-in-chief of the Economists reply cites pay-TV giants such as HBO or Sky.

    The 171-year old news magazine is regarded as having made a success of navigating the transition from print to multi-platform publisher, and for Micklethwait it is the paid-subscription model that will triumph.

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    Non-Russian publishers face ownership restrictions

    The foreign owners of magazines distributed in Russia may have to sell their stakes or risk falling foul of a new law introduced by the president, Vladimir Putin, reports the Times.

    From 2016, when the law takes effect, non-Russian publishers will be allowed to hold only a 20% stake in Russian publications.

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    Blackstar investment company wants to obtain full ownership of Times Media Group

    South Africa’s largest English-language newspaper publisher, Times Media Group (TMG), is considering an offer from an investment company, Blackstar, to acquire total ownership.

    Blackstar currently owns 32.5% of TMG shares and intends to acquire the remainder. It has offered about £28m in cash and shares for the 67.5% of TMG it doesn’t already own.

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    New rumours, reported by Bloomberg, suggest FT may be sold off for £1bn

    Pearson is said, yet again, to be exploring a sale of the Financial Times. How many times down the years have I read that rumour? And how many times must I dismiss it as speculative nonsense?

    The latest report of the possible sale can be found on Bloomberg. Citing “people familiar with the matter”, it states that “potential buyers” for the newspaper are being sounded out by Pearson.

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    Sale by Pearson does not include 50% stake in the Economist or the newspaper’s Southwark Bridge headquarters

    The 127-year-old Financial Times, whose pink pages are as much a symbol of the City as the pinstriped suit, is to be sold to a Japanese financial media company by its British owners for £844m.

    The sale to Nikkei by Pearson, which comes after years of speculation over its long-term commitment to owning the FT, demonstrates the eagerness of cash-rich international investors looking to expand into a financial news landscape dominated by the English language.

    Related: FT's new owners Nikkei are cut from the same template

    Related: Lionel Barber: ‘It’s adapt or die frankly and that’s what we’re doing’

    Related: The Guardian view on media globalisation: good news for the Financial Times | Editorial

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    Commentators question whether FT’s editorial independence can be assured

    Why has Nikkei bought the Financial Times? What’s the logic of the Japanese media company’s very expensive acquisition? Business commentators, while acknowledging the financial sense in Pearson’s sell-off, appear concerned about the FT’s editorial independence in future.

    As far as the FT’s own Tokyo-based writers, Kana Inagaki and Leo Lewis, are concerned, it’s all about international expansion, “an attempt to turn a heavily domestic name into a global brand and survive the shift to digital journalism.”

    “Nor would readers of Nikkei be acutely aware that Japanese-made airbags have been blowing up in the US since 2004, a story that has long preoccupied the New York Times.

    Mainstream Japanese journalism is not corrupt, but it is respectful, like the culture around it. Anglo-Saxon journalistic traditions are not, at their best, respectful of anything.

    “We all wish the 500 FT journalists the very best as they enter a new era... One trusts that a great British product will not be stifled by the deeply unadventurous hand of Japanese publishers.”

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    FT Group chief executive John Ridding says paper will also look to hire more staff following its acquisition by Japanese media group Nikkei

    The Financial Times will begin looking for a replacement for its Thames-side London offices in the new year and look to hire more staff following its acquisition by Japanese media group Nikkei.

    The offices were not included in the £844m sale of the FT by Pearson, which is to lease the building back at commercial terms to Nikkei.

    Related: Financial Times sold to Japanese media group Nikkei for £844m

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    Letter to the FT by Daily Mail group director on the difference between business ownership based on ‘long term value’ and the need to make quick profits

    A short letter in Wednesday’s Financial Times makes for fascinating reading. Stimulated by Pearson’s sale of the FT to Nikkei, it poses profound questions about the nature of modern capitalism:

    Sir, The biggest mistake Pearson has made in the past 25 years occurred in the early 1990s when the representatives of the original owners retired.

    Pearson then owned a collection of the finest assets in the world — besides the Financial Times, there was Chateau Latour, Lazards, Madame Tussauds, Penguin and Longman.

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    Existing shareholder Exor increases its holding from 4.7% to 43.4% to become the largest single shareholder in the publishing group

    Pearson has sold its 50% stake in the Economist Group, publisher of the Economist, to existing shareholders for £469m in cash.

    The deal, a fait accompli following Pearson’s sale of the Financial Times to Nikkei for £844m last month, will see a major change in the power structure of the major shareholders that control the Economist Group.

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    Italy’s Agnellis are the latest wealthy dynasty – in the wake of the Murdochs, the Barclays and the Sulzbergers – to take control of a global media brand

    Rupert Pennant-Rea sat pensively in the 14th floor boardroom above London’s upmarket St James’s and soaked up the grand views across Green Park. Colleagues greeted him warmly as they shuffled into the room. As chairman and a former editor of the Economist, Pennant-Rea was acutely aware of just what a momentous decision his board was about to take.

    It was last Monday evening and the magazine and research group was poised to agree to support a deal that would result in only the second significant change of ownership in the Economist’s 172-year history.

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    The eye-popping sum paid by the Agnellis and Rothschilds shows how much the rich value high-quality private assets that will make long-term profits

    No self-respecting brand manager would ever name a newspaper the Economist. You might as well name it “dry and boring eat-your-greens stuff which you probably won’t even understand”.

    And yet, improbably, the Economist is today worth an eye-popping £938m ($1.5bn). That’s six times the value of the Washington Post, which comes out seven days a week and which has must-read status in the most important political capital in the world. It’s even more than the £844m ($1.3bn) that Nikkei Group paid for the Financial Times.

    Related: Pearson sells Economist Group stake for £469m

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    Education publisher, which is in the process of selling off the Financial Times, blames ‘challenging’ market as it suffers biggest share price fall since 1987

    Pearson suffered its biggest share slump in decades on Wednesday as the education publisher’s stock price crashed almost 16% after issuing a full-year profits warning.

    Pearson, which is in the process of selling off the Financial Times and its stake in the Economist, saw its biggest share price fall since the stock market crash of 1987.

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    Former chief executive of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly to take over from Glen Moreno at global education company

    Pearson has appointed Sidney Taurel, the former chief executive of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, as its new chairman.

    Taurel, who is also a board director at IBM and McGraw Hill Financial, will takeover as non-executive chairman of the parent of the Financial Times on 1 January.

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    Sale marks end of an era for former FT owner as it exits newspaper publishing business after selling its stake to Russian entrepreneur

    Pearson, which recently agreed to offload the Financial Times, and the publisher of the Wall Street Journal have sold off their stakes in Russian business newspaper Vedomosti.

    For Pearson the sale represents its final move out of newspaper publishing, having already sold its 50% stake in the Economist and just weeks from completing a deal for Nikkei to takeover the FT, although it still owns a minority stake in book publisher Penguin Random House.

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    World’s biggest education publisher aims to make £350m in cost savings by the end of 2017

    Pearson is to cut 4,000 jobs after issuing its second profit warning in three months.

    The world’s biggest education publisher said it aimed for annual savings of £350m by the end of 2017 and it would end its long-held policy of increasing its dividend each year.

    Related: Pearson shares slide after profits warning

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    Zanny Minton Beddoes on new owners, battling Brexit, and making a 173-year-old title work online

    Zanny Minton Beddoes’ office may have a worn and old-fashioned feel, indeed it wouldn’t be surprising if it turned out it hasn’t had a makeover since the Economist’s arrival in 1964, but she couldn’t be more focused on the shiny digital future.

    “We don’t want to be the grandpa at the disco,” says Minton Beddoes, the first female editor in the business magazine’s 173-year history. “The bedrock of this place is the weekly Economist but in the 21st century that is no longer enough.”

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    Magazine plans to move next summer to a London headquarters, overlooking the Thames, that meets ‘the needs of a 21st century media company’

    The Economist has chosen its new home. It is to move next year into the Adelphi Building on London’s Victoria Embankment.

    Zanny Minton Beddoes, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, points out that the new headquarters will be “just steps from where The Economist’s first offices were in 1843.”

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    Challenging trading conditions continue to knock world’s largest educational publisher

    The full extent of the difficulties Pearson is facing following the sale of the Financial Times to focus on education has been laid bare, as jittery investors sent its share price tumbling 10% after the company reported worse than expected sales.

    Pearson’s chief executive, John Fallon, sold the FT in 2015, as well as its 50% stake in the publisher of the Economist, for more than £1.3bn to focus on Pearson’s educational publishing business.

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    Management have moved to reassure staff and writers that selling the 47% holding will not affect business, but authors and agents express unease

    Authors and staff have reacted cautiously to news that Pearson is to sell its stake in Penguin Random House (PRH), the world’s biggest publisher and home to some of the most successful brands in books, among them Fifty Shades of Grey, Jamie Oliver and The Girl on the Train.

    PRH moved quickly to address fears among staff that the sale of the 47% share to German-owned Bertelsmann would affect jobs. In a statement, global chief executive Markus Dohle promised it would be “business as usual for us”. He added: “Both Pearson and Bertelsmann continue to be very supportive of our strategy and our success, and both have been valued shareholders for us.”

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    Pre-tax losses soar to £2.6bn as group – planning to sell its Penguin Random House stake – is hit by slump in US textbook sales

    Pearson has reported a pre-tax loss of £2.6bn for 2016, the biggest in its history, after a slump at its US education operation.

    The world’s largest education publisher, which in January saw almost £2bn wiped from its stock market value after issuing its fifth profit warning in two years, reported the record loss after taking a £2.55bn non-cash charge for “impairment of goodwill reflecting trading pressures” in its North American businesses.

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