Man Group PLC, London, hopes its sponsorship of the Booker prize for British Commonwealth writers will extend the prize to include U.S. writers, according to David Browne, head of external relations for the Man Group.
Man Group, a U.K.-listed hedge fund specialist, last month paid L2.5 million ($3.6 million) to sponsor the prize, now known as the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, for the next five years. The sponsorship increases the winning author's prize money to L50,000 from L21,000.
He said Man Group may extend the scope of the prize by allowing U.S. writers to enter the competition or by setting up a separate prize.
The sponsorship might seem like an unusual vehicle for a boutique financial services group with a niche market of high-net-worth individuals, but Mr. Brown said it would improve the group's profile.
Big Food Group pulled out of sponsoring the competition in order to focus on its core business, said spokeswoman Dotti Irving. She added the company also felt it inappropriate for an everyday food retailer to sponsor a literary prize.
Last year's Booker Prize went to Peter Carey for "True History of the Kelly Gang." The list for this year's prize will be published in August, with a decision expected in October.