Pearson says sells its share of The Economist Group

Pearson says sells its share of The Economist Group

LONDON-Agence France-Presse
Pearson says sells its share of The Economist Group

A copy of the Economist magazine is pictured on a news stand in central London on August 12, 2015. AFP Photo

British publishing company Pearson on Aug. 12 said it had agreed to sell its 50-percent stake in The Economist Group, owner of prestigious magazine The Economist.

The share is being sold for 469 million ($730 million, 663 million euros), split between The Economist Group itself and Italian investment firm Exor, which is controlled by the Agnelli family, Pearson said in a statement.

“Exor has agreed to purchase 27.8 percent of The Economist Group’s ordinary shares for consideration of 227.5 million and all of the B special shares for consideration of 59.5 million from Pearson,” the statement said.    

“Pearson’s remaining ordinary shares will be repurchased by The Economist Group for a total consideration of 182 million.”   

The sale forms part of major restructuring at Pearson, which wants to focus solely on its education publishing business.

It last month announced plans to sell The Economist Group, which includes also and the Economist Intelligence Unit, as it revealed a deal to sell the Financial Times newspaper to Japanese digital media group Nikkei.

“Pearson is now 100 percent focused on our global education strategy,” its chief executive John Fallon said in the statement.

“The world of education is changing rapidly and we see great opportunity to grow our business through increasing access to high quality learning globally.”   

Pearson described The Economist as “one of the world’s leading weekly business and current affairs publications with a circulation of around 1.6 million.”