Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Rough year ahead for Financial Times?

I can't promise pictures of the FT editor's wife's breasts, but something much better - trouble at FT-mill and yet more takeover gossip, this time from Forbes/
British media company Pearson is set to close the book on a record 2007, thanks to a seasonal sales boost to its education business, but 2008 could be an entirely different story. Despite promising "record profits" for 2007 in a trading update Tuesday, as well as the strongest year ever for its education business, Pearson (nyse: PSO - news - people ) is largely reliant on the future health of the American economy. Two-thirds of sales come from the United States, and already this month California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced cuts of $4.4 billion to the state education budget.
And as for Pearson's Financial Times media imprint, 2008 could also be a year of change. French billionaire Bernard Arnault, owner of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey (other-otc: LVMHF - news - people ), is reportedly on the prowl to acquire the British newspaper, fresh from buying its French sister paper, Les Echos, last year. (See "Credit Agricole's Next Acquisition: A Newspaper?")
"I don't think there is any doubt that Bernard Arnault would love to own the Financial Times," said Usman Ghazi, analyst with Dresdner Kleinwort, suggesting that he could pay as much as £1 billion ($2.0 billion) for the newspaper. "His base is luxury advertisers, and most of the F.T.'s most lucrative advertising is luxury-based…Whether Pearson offloads the F.T., however, is a completely different question."

LVMH (luxury brand) taking over FT (perceived luxury brand).

SDJ? Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

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