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NEWS CORP. BUYS COUPON APP MAKER.

Grocery-store coupons distributed though mobile devices is apparently a good fit for the division of News Corp. that focuses on grocery-store coupons and displays. News America Marketing said on Friday it had acquired Checkout 51 of Toronto, Canada, for undisclosed terms.

In other news-related news, Pearson PLC of London said on Thursday it would sell the Financial Times of London for $1,300 million to Japanese business publisher Nikkei Inc.

Checkout 51, founded in Canada in 2012 and launched in the United States last year, makes a free mobile-device application that allows customers to browse through lists of grocery items, choosing which ones they'd like to buy. After purchase, the customer takes a photo of the receipt and is given a reimbursement.

The company claims to have 4 million members (3 million U.S. customers and 1 million Canadian) and that it has paid out almost $15 million in reimbursements to consumers.

News America provides both retailers and consumer-product makers with coupons through its free-standing inserts and provides retailers with in-store marketing materials and displays.

While discussions to sell the Financial Times had been going on for a year, early Thursday morning the rumor was that the German publisher Axel Springer would clinch the deal. Then Pearson announced that Nikkei had paid a premium and would win the financial title.

The New York Times reported the deal doesn't include either the building where the FT is housed in London, nor Pearson's 50-percent stake in The Economist magazine. Nikkei said it would rent offices from Pearson.

Nikkei, a 139-year-old company, publishes the daily Japanese business paper, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, which has a circulation of about 3-1/2 million. The overall business posted a net profit of about $83 million in 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal. In addition to the business paper, Nikkei publishes an English-language magazine, and the Japanese-language edition of National Geographic and has extensive television holdings.

The New York Times reported that the FT has a combined print and digital circulation of 737,000 and that its division had 2014 sales of about $520 million and net income of about $37.3 million.

Much discussion about the price Nikkei paid for a newspaper but if you want to compete in the English-language business news marketplace (which apparently both Axel Springer and Nikkei do), there are few choices, which can mean a bidding war.

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Publication:NewsInc
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 27, 2015
Words:396
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