pearson says sells its share of the economist group
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Pearson says sells its share of The Economist Group

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The Economist Group
London - AFP

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 ($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 Economist.com 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 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".

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