Pearson ends role in news publishing with sale of Economist Group

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Pearson has agreed to sell its 50 percent stake in the publisher of the Economist magazine for 469 million pounds ($731 million) as it sheds media holdings to focus on its core education business.

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Italian investment group Exor S.p.A. has agreed to pay 287 million pounds for 27.8 percent of the Economist Group, 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.

Exor, controlled by the Agnelli family, already owned just under 5 percent of the Economist Group. The Agnellis founded Italian automaker Fiat, which recently bought Chrysler.

Pearson PLC announced last month it had sold its other journalism jewel, The Financial Times, to Japan's Nikkei.