Pear­son parts com­pany with The Economist

The China Post - - WORLD BUSINESS -

Bri­tish pub­lish­ing com­pany Pear­son on Wed­nes­day 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 (US$730 mil­lion), split be­tween The Economist Group it­self and Ital­ian in­vest­ment firm Exor, which is con­trolled by the Agnelli fam­ily, Pear­son said in a state­ment.

Exor is mean­while rais­ing its stake to 43.4 per­cent from 4.7 per­cent, it said in a sep­a­rate 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 Bri­tish pub­lisher 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 Economist. com and the Economist In­tel­li­gence Unit, as it re­vealed also 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 Wed­nes­day’s 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.”

‘In­tegrity’

Exor chair­man and chief ex­ecu- tive John Elkann said the com­pany he runs “have al­ways ad­mired the ed­i­to­rial in­tegrity and thor­oughly global out­look that are the hall­marks of The Economist’s suc­cess.”

He added: “Our strong belief in the mer­its of this in­vest­ment is all the greater given The Economist’s de­ci­sion to join us, by in­vest­ing in its own shares, which is a sign of its con­fi­dence in the Group’s ex­cit­ing and prof­itable fu­ture.

“To­gether we are con­vinced of the huge po­ten­tial that still lies ahead and par­tic­u­larly in The Economist’s abil­ity to seize the many de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties linked to the dig­i­ti­za­tion of the media in­dus­try.”

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