Owner puts Financial Times on auction block

LONDON - Pearson PLC, the owner of the Financial Times, confirmed Thursday it is in "advanced discussions" about the potential sale of the newspaper.

The company noted recent press speculation about the potential disposal of the FT Group, but added "there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction."

The statement did not mention potential buyers, saying only that Pearson would make an announcement "if and when appropriate."

Pearson, which counts educational products and services as its core business, acquired the Financial Times in 1957. The FT Group also includes a 50 percent stake in The Economist magazine.

The company is an international leader in educational publishing and is believed to want to focus more into that sector.

Pearson's share price was up 2.5 percent in late-morning trading in London.

The group is due to publish half-year results Friday.