Financial Times Group announces proposed merger of Financial Times and FT Business

London - The Financial Times Group has today announced a proposal to merge FT Business, its specialist financial publishing business, with sister company, the Financial Times Ltd.

FT Business owns a strong portfolio of magazine brands, each targeting specific areas of the financial world through print publications, websites and events. The company  is organised around three clusters: Personal Finance (includes Investors Chronicle), Retail Finance (includes Financial Adviser) and Institutional Finance (includes The Banker). Over the past three years, FT Business has achieved steady growth in the audiences for its major titles and online services, and sustained healthy double-digit profit margins even through the downturn in financial advertising.

The proposed merger has benefits for both businesses: the FT would benefit from the ability to target valuable and niche audiences, whilst FTB would benefit from the global presence and international infrastructure that the FT has to offer. Both businesses would benefit from shared support services and common infrastructure.
 
FT Business has established itself as one of the UK's most profitable publishing companies*. The proposal to merge with the FT will enable FT Business to adapt itself for the future and to further benefit from two powerful economic trends - the globalisation of finance and the rapid growth of the digital economy.

Rona Fairhead, CEO, FT Group, said: "When I joined the FT Group, we said we would look for opportunities to make the most of our quality businesses. This is one example of how we're planning for future growth by maximising the advantages we have in the business media market. I believe that a media business that combines FTB's targeting of niche customers, with the FT's global reach, has every chance of achieving long-term success in this new environment."

As of Tuesday 24th October, FT Business will enter into a 30 day consultation period with staff. There are no redundancies planned as a result of the proposed merger and FT Business will continue with its plans to move into the FT's head office at One Southwark Bridge in January 2007, as per plans announced in October 2005.

For further information, please contact:

Katy Hemmings, Financial Times 020 7873 4447/07957 114 837

Notes to Editors

*FT Business is ranked second in the 2006 report by Plimsoll Publishing on business magazine publishers, defined by trading profit margin.

The Financial Times Group, one of the world's leading business information companies, aims to provide a broad range of business information and services to the growing audience of internationally minded business people.  The FT Group includes:

  1. The Financial Times, one of the world's leading business newspapers, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy.  Providing extensive news, comment and analysis, the newspaper is printed in 23 cities across the globe, has a daily circulation of over 437,117 and a readership of more than 1.4 million people worldwide.
  2. FT.com is one of the world's leading business information websites, and the internet partner of the FT newspaper. Since its relaunch in May 2002, the website has continued to be the definitive home for business intelligence on the web, providing an essential source of news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community. FT.com attracts 5.5 million unique monthly users (ABC electronic figures March 06), generating 41 million page views and has 84,000 subscribers. FT.com broke even in December 2002.
  3. The FT Group's pan-European network of national business newspapers and online services including France's leading business newspaper and website, Les Echos and lesechos.fr.  In February 2000, the FT launched a new German language newspaper, FT Deutschland, with a fully integrated online business news and data service.
  4. Through FT Interactive Data, the FT Group is one of the world's leading sources of securities pricing and specialist financial information to global institutional, professional and individual investors.  Its products include eSignal, an online realtime streaming quotation service for brokers and active traders.
  5. FT Business, which produces specialist information on the retail, personal and institutional finance industries. It publishes the UK's premier personal finance magazine, Investors Chronicle, and The Banker, Money Management and Financial Adviser for professional advisers.
  6. The Mergermarket Group, whose products and services provide the global advisory and corporate communities with intelligence and analysis. With regional head offices in London, New York and Hong Kong and 200 journalists in 46 locations worldwide, reliable and validated proprietary intelligence and historical data is provided via the mergermarket, dealReporter, Debtwire and wealthmonitor on-line platforms. 
  7. The Financial Times Group also has a stake in a number of joint ventures, including;
    • FTSE International, a joint venture with the London Stock Exchange.
    • Vedomosti, Russia's leading business newspaper and a partnership venture with Dow Jones and Independent Media
    • A 50% stake in BDFM, publishers of South Africa's leading financial newspapers and websites.
    • A 50% stake in The Economist Group, which publishes the world's leading weekly business and current affairs journal.
    • A 13.85% stake in Business Standard, one of India's leading financial newspapers.

The FT Group is part of Pearson plc, the international media group.