Publishing company Pearson has confirmed plans to sell its 50% stake in the Economist Group. The statement from the firm came just days after it announced the sale of the Financial Times to Japan's Nikkei.
Pearson said it was in discussions regarding the sale of the Economist but there was no certainty that this process will lead to a transaction. It did not name the potential buyers, but Italy's Agnelli family said it was in talks to increase its holding.
Exor, the investment arm of the Agnelli family, currently holds a 4.72% stake in the Economist Group.
The firm said on its website that any increased investment would represent a minority shareholding in the The Economist... reflecting Exor's strong commitment to the editorial independence that lies at the heart of the Economist's ethos and success.
It also stressed that there was no certainty of a deal.
Other Economist shareholders include the family dynasties Cadbury, Rothschild and Schroder.
The Financial Times reported that the 50% stake was valued at £400m and that the sale was likely to be concluded over the summer.
The Economist Group includes in the Economist magazine, the research company the Economist Intelligence Unit and the US legislative information provider CQ Roll Call. On Thursday Pearson agreed to sell the Financial Times for £844m as part of the group's strategy to focus just on education.
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