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Financial Times Buys Assanka to Boost Web Software Development

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Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The Financial Times, owned by education publisher Pearson Plc, acquired London-based web developer Assanka Ltd., according to an internal memo.

“This acquisition supports our strategy to deliver our world-class journalism anywhere, anytime on any device, delivering new digital products and services that engage our busy readers,” Chief Executive Officer John Ridding wrote in a message to staff today. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Assanka, founded in 2003 by Andrew Betts, 30, and Robert Shilston, 28, developed an iPad application for the Financial Times that allowed the newspaper to circumvent Apple Inc.’s approval process and retain all revenue from its subscription price.

The Financial Times has more than 250,000 digital subscribers and more than 1 million users of the FT Web App, according to Ridding’s memo.

Assanka, which has 12 full-time employees, will become part of the newspaper’s technology division and will develop software across Pearson, Ridding said.

The software firm recorded a profit of 348,245 pounds ($560,000) in the fiscal year ended March 2011, according to filings with Companies House.

To contact the reporter on this story: Edmund Lee in New York at elee310@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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