Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and US firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom have acted as advisors on the £844m sale of the Financial Times Group by Pearsons to Japanese media company Nikkei.
Freshfields advised Pearsons as one of the firms on the company’s legal panel. They were guided principally by corporate partners Simon Marchant and Oliver Lazenby. Nikkei were first time clients for US giant Skadden who operated using a cross-boarder cohort of lawyers led by Mitsuhiro Kamiya from their Tokyo office and Scott Hopkins in London. Travers Smith also advised Nikkei on the sale. They discharged their pensions team managed by partner Philip Stear and associate Helen Rowan as well as an employee incentives team made up of partner Mahesh Varia and associate Kevin Donegan. Their IP team comprised of partner Dan Reavill and associate James Longster and real estate team included partner Emma Pereira and associate Lily Humphries who also advised Nikkei on their multi-million pound purchase.
The sale includes the Financial Times newspaper, FT.com, How to Spend It, FT Labs, FT Chinese, the Confidentials and Financial Publishing but does not involve the 50% stake in The Economist that Pearson’s owns nor the company’s London office located at One Southwark Bridge. The Financial Times is a world-leading news and media organization that has been established since 1888. In 2014 it contributed £334m of sales and roughly £24m in adjusted operating income to Pearsons.