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17th August 2015

Pearson To Sell Stake In Economist

Pearson, the education and publishing giant, has held a non-controlling share of 50% of The Economist since 1928, worth £469million.

Exor have reached a deal to buy the majority of shares. They are an investment company owned by the Agnellis family, who were also the founders of the Fiat car empire. Although they already have a 4.7% share, they will be upping this to 43%, with the four magazine’s editors backing this decision. The Agnellis’s ownership is fairly similar to many other leading titles, such as News UK, and The Week, which have been bought by private family-run businesses. The deal includes heavy significance on Exor preserving and nurturing the Economist brand.

The deal also requires approval from 75% majority of Economist shareholders. Some have said that rival publishers, including Hearst and Bloomberg, were eager to get a slice of the Economist, but that the independent trustees had used their power to veto.

While many newspaper and magazine titles are struggling with print revenues in decline, The Economist has seen impressive increases in June’s ABC, read the full story at

The remainder of Pearson’s stake will be bought by The Economist Group for £182m, funded by selling its offices in St James’s.
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