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Pearson offloads 50% stake in The Economist for $730m

Pearson has completed its withdrawal from its publishing interest’s just weeks after selling its stake in the Financial Times after agreeing to sell its 50 per cent holding of The Economist to Italian investment firm Exor and The Economist Group itself.

The sale will raise $730m for the group as it retrenches to its core education business with Exor purchasing 27.8 per cent of the group’s ordinary shares and all of its special B shares, raising its total stake in the business from 4.7 to 43.4 per cent in the process.

The Economist Group, which includes the Economist magazine, Economist Intelligence Unit and Congressional Quarterly, will purchase the remainder of Pearson’s stake for $283m.

Pearson CEO John Fallon said: “Pearson is now 100 percent focused on our global education strategy. The world of education is changing rapidly and we see great opportunity to grow our business.”

Pearson made headlines just weeks ago after it offloaded the FT Group, publisher of the Financial Times, to Nikkei for $1.3bn.

The Economist Group made an operating profit of $94m in the year to March.