The Financial Times
London-based Pearson is reportedly sounding out possible bidders for its Financial TimesReuters

Pearson Plc is preparing to sell the Financial Times newspaper after receiving interest from potential buyers, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The sources told the news agency that London-based Pearson is sounding out possible bidders, and a sale might value the business daily at about £1bn (€1.4bn, $1.6bn).

Media companies such as Germany's Axel Springer SE as well as investors in Europe, the Middle East and Asia are expected to be potential bidders for the pink-hued newspaper.

However, there is no formal sale process under way, the sources cautioned, adding that Pearson may decide to keep the newspaper.

Rumours about the sale of the FT have been spreading after the Pearson CEO was said to be focusing on addressing a slowdown in the company's education unit due to declining US college enrolments and falling textbook sales.

In addition, Pearson now focuses more on its North American operations, which accounted for 61% of the company's $7.5bn revenue in 2014.

It sold financial news service Mergermarket for $624m in 2014.

The 127-year-old British newspaper is now part of Pearson's professional education unit that reported £1.15bn in 2014 revenue.

Having started in 1888 as a four-page newspaper, the FT's circulation reached 720,000 in 2014, with digital subscriptions accounting for 70% of the total.

Pearson shares are trading down 1.57% at £12.55 as at 6.46am GMT.