SHEDDING MORE WEIGHT FOR POUNDS: Pearson has sold its 50 percent stake in The Economist Group to existing shareholders for £469 million (approximately US $732 million). Exor, an Italian holding company that controls Fiat Chrysler, has agreed to pay £287 million to for 6.3 million ordinary shares and all of Pearon’s “B” shares, which will increase its stake in The Economist Group from 4.7 percent to 43.4 percent. The rest of Pearson’s ordinary shares will be purchased by The Economist Group for £182 million.
The deal comes three weeks after Pearson sold The Financial Times for £844 million (approximately US $1.3 billion), all of which CEO John Fallon says will be reinvested to the publisher’s digital education efforts. Following this most recent deal, he reaffirmed in a statement that the company “is now 100% focused on our global education strategy.”
Bloomberg says this deal “effectively effectively ends London-based Pearson’s role in news publishing after more than 50 years.” All eyes will now be on its education efforts, now boosted by an additional $2 billion in its war chest.