Skip to main content


FT purchase could expand Thomson Reuters brand - NYT

Purchasing the Financial Times could expand the Thomson Reuters brand and give its reporters additional exposure, The New York Times said.

In a weekend article that concentrated on a possible bid for the London-based business daily by New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Times named Thomson Reuters as the other likely bidder.

“Unlike Mr. Bloomberg, who started his financial information company in 1982, James C. Smith, president and chief executive of Thomson Reuters, came up through Thomson’s regional newspapers and has ink in his veins. A replica of an old-fashioned printing press is on display in his corner office overlooking Times Square,” the Times said.

“But the company has been hurt financially after its newest desktop terminal product struggled to catch on. In the first nine months of 2012, the company reported revenue of $9.88 billion, a 3 percent decrease from the period a year earlier. A company spokesman declined to comment.

“The Financial Times could expand the Thomson Reuters brand and give its reporters additional exposure since, unlike Bloomberg, which bought Businessweek in 2009, the company does not own a regular magazine. Thomson Reuters, partly a British company, and The Financial Times also have large footprints in Asia.”

The New York Times said mayor Bloomberg, who controls 90 per cent of his eponymous financial news and information company’s shares, was weighing the wisdom of buying The Financial Times Group, which includes the paper and a half interest in The Economist, according to three people close to him who spoke on the condition of anonymity to divulge private conversations.

Speculation that the FT could be for sale has increased because its owner, Pearson, is about to lose two of its top executives. Chief executive Marjorie Scardino leaves at year-end and Rona Fairhead, CEO of the Financial Times Group, leaves at the end of April. Analysts value The Financial Times Group at about $1.2 billion, well within the reach of both Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters.

Pearson has refused to confirm rumours that the newspaper is for sale. Scardino once said she would only sell the FT “over my dead body”. ■

The New York Times