Man Booker prize sponsor pulls out

LONDON • Investment firm Man Group is ending its long-running sponsorship of Britain's prestigious Man Booker prizes for novels, both sides announced on Sunday.

The group has invested £25 million (S$44.5 million) in the prize, its international edition and other related activities over the past 17 years.

The Booker Prize Foundation said its trustees "are in discussion with a new sponsor and are confident that the new funding will be in place for 2020".

This year's two prizes will run as usual.

The winner of the Man Booker receives £52,500, although the bigger prize is seen as a spike in sales which invariably follows. Winners include V.S. Naipaul, Iris Murdoch, Salman Rushdie, Kingsley Amis, Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian McEwan.

The award, launched in 1969, was open only to novelists from Commonwealth states until it began permitting those from other English-speaking countries in 2014.

Author Sebastian Faulks, who was once a judge on the prize but has never won it, last year criticised Man Group, saying it should not be the sponsor for such a prize.

Man Group chief executive Luke Ellis reportedly hit back, saying: "Literature and the arts need their champions to step in where public money has been pulled out."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 29, 2019, with the headline 'Man Booker prize sponsor pulls out'. Print Edition | Subscribe