Pearson to sell stake in Economist Group

Updated: 2015-08-12 22:42


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Pearson to sell stake in Economist Group

A kiosk is seen with the logo of Economist magazine in Brussel, Belgium.[Photo/IC]

LONDON -- Pearson, a Britain-based education group and publishing house, Wednesday announced that it has agreed to sell its 50 percent stake in The Economist Group, the owner of business magazine Economist, for 469 million pounds (or $730 million), payable in cash.

Exor S.p.A., an Italian investment company run by John Elkann, scion of the Agnelli family, has decided to acquire 27.8 percent of The Economist Group's ordinary shares for consideration of 227. 5 million pounds and all of the B special shares for consideration of 59.5 million pounds from Pearson.

Pearson's remaining ordinary shares will be repurchased by The Economist Group for a total consideration of 182 million pounds, said Pearson.

Pearson stressed that the proceeds from asset divesture will be used for corporate purposes and investment in its global education strategy.

John Fallon, chief executive at Pearson, said in a statement: "Pearson is proud to have been a part of the Economist's success over the past 58 years, and our shareholders have benefited greatly from its growth."

Fallon highlighted that the group is now "100 percent focused" on its global education strategy, as the world of education is changing rapidly and great opportunity in high quality learning globally is seen.

Pearson acquired half of the Economist Group's stake in 1957, as part of its acquisition of the FT Group.

The transaction is subject to a number of regulatory approvals and to approval by both a 75 percent majority of The Economist Group shareholders and the group's independent trustees. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2015, noted Pearson.

The Economist Group is a British media brand which in 2014 contributed 21 million pounds to Pearson's operating income. (1 pound = $1.56)