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Pearson to offload stake in The Economist following FT sale

Publishing firm Pearson is to strike whilst the iron is hot by attempting to offload its 50 per cent stake in the Economist just days after selling the Financial Times to Nikkei for £844m.

This continues the group’s strategy to reposition itself away from publishing to focus solely upon its education interests, although it stressed that an eventual sale is by no means a certainty.

In a statement the firm said: “Pearson confirms it is in discussions with the Economist Group board and trustees regarding the potential sale of our 50 per cent share in the group,” the company said in a statement.

“There is no certainty that this process will lead to a transaction.”

Pearson owns a 50 per cent stake in The Economist Group which has been valued at around £400m according to estimates published in the FT.

The Economist has bucked the wider industry downturn to see its print circulation reach 1.6m by targeting sales at a growing international middle class.