Pearson to sell stake in The Economist for £469m - here are 5 vital facts about its new owner

Italian investment group Exor snaps up the 172-year-old magazine

Pearson is selling its stake in the Economist Group for £469m to Italian investment group Exor.

The investment group is forking out £227.5m for The Economist’s ordinary shares and £59.5m for its B special shares. The Economist is buying Pearson’s remaining ordinary shares for £182m.

The 172-year-old Economist magazine has a circulation of 1.6 million and is headquartered in London.

Earlier this month, the publisher sold the Financial Times to Japanese firm Nikkei for £884m.

In a statement, Pearson said it’s going to use the proceeds from the sale to strengthen its position as a world-class education provider.

Pearson chief executive John Fallon said: “Pearson is proud to have been a part of the Economist’s success over the past 58 years, and our shareholders have benefited greatly from its growth. We have enjoyed supporting the company as it has built a global business, sustaining the excellence of its journalism and ensuring it is read more widely. We wish all our colleagues at The Economist every future success.

“Pearson is now 100% focused on our global education strategy. The world of education is changing rapidly and we see great opportunity to grow our business through increasing access to high quality learning globally.”

Here are 5 vital facts about The Economist magazine’s new owner

1. Private equity giant Exor manages the interests of the Agnellis, one of Italy’s wealthiest families.

2. The Agnelli family founded Italian automobile company Fiat.

3. Exor also owns Italian newspaper La Stampa.

4. Fiat is the biggest stakeholder in RCS Media Group SpA, the publisher of Italy’s biggest newspaper Corriere della Sera.

5. John Elkann, CEO, Exor, is also a board member of News Corp.

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