Pearson Plc said it’s in advanced talks to sell the FT Group, which owns publications including the Financial Times newspaper and a stake in the Economist magazine.

The statement, made after Bloomberg reported this week that London-based Pearson was sounding out bidders for the iconic salmon-colored business newspaper, is the first public admission that years of on-off discussions about a disposal of the asset may result in a transaction this time. FT Group also owns FT.com and a joint venture with Russia’s Vedomosti newspaper.

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