SPONSOR pulls out of British Literary prize.

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 $33 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 new sponsor and are confident that the new funding will be in place for 2020''.

''Man Group has been an excellent and a very generous sponsor for nearly 18 years since 2002,'' said foundation chairwoman Helena Kennedy. ''However all good things must come to an end and we look forward to taking the prizes into the next phase with our new supporter.''

ManGroup's  chief executive, Luke Ellis, said it would ''focus its resources'' on a new campaign to increase diversity in the industry and expand the firm's global charitable initiatives'', he said.

The winner of the  Man Booker receives $69,350, although the biggest prize is seen as a spike in sales which invariably follow.

Previous winners include  V.S. Naipaul, Iris Murdoch, Salman Rushdie, J.M. Coetzee, Kingsley Amiss, Kazuo Ishiguro, A.S. Byatt and Ian McEwan among others.

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


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