Pearson agreed to sell its 50% stake in the Economist Group for £469 million in cash. EXOR S.p.A. will purchase 27.8% of the shares, the rest will be repurchased by The Economist Group. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2015.
The proceeds of the sale will be used for general corporate purposes and investment in Pearson’s global education strategy.
The sale marks the last step in turning Pearson towards a 100% focused education company. In July the publisher sold its stake in the Financial Times to Nikkei for over $1 billion.
In a piece for the London Evening Standard, Pearson CEO John Fallon states
“The sale of these world-leading media brands gives Pearson the impetus to focus on what we see as our own biggest growth opportunity – the global demand for better skills.”
Fallon goes on with an overview of Pearson’s activities in different education markets, from ESL to higher education, edtech startups and education initiatives in developing countries.
- Pearson agrees to sell 50% stake in The Economist Group | Press Release
- John Fallon: Why now is the right time for Pearson to sell The Economist and the FT and focus on education | Evening Standard