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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 [sic] “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.