Pearson sells entire stake in Economist magazine publisher

AP News
Posted: Aug 12, 2015 5:11 AM

LONDON (AP) — London-based Pearson has agreed to sell its 50 percent stake in the publisher of the Economist magazine to Italian investment group Exor, as it sheds its media holdings to focus on education publications.

Exor, which is the main stakeholder in automaker Fiat Chrysler, has agreed to pay 287 million pounds for a 27.8 percent share, plus so-called B shares that give it the right to appoint six of the 13 board members. The Economist Group itself will pay 182 million pounds for the remainder of the Pearson stake.

Overall, Pearson will get 469 million pounds ($731 million). The announcement comes just weeks after Pearson sold its other journalism jewel, The Financial Times, to Japan's Nikkei.

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Exor S.p.A. is controlled by the Agnelli family, which founded Fiat, and already owned just under 5 percent of the Economist Group. It also has investments in leading Italian newspapers.

Shares in Pearson PLC were down 0.7 percent in London while Exor's shed 2 percent in Milan a weaker market.