Pearson Sells Media Division for $624 Million to Private Equity Group

Today, Pearson (NYSE: PSO  ) announced it will be selling its Mergermarket Group, a media division of the company covering financial news, to London-based private equity group BC Partners for roughly $624 million, or 382 million pounds. BC Partners will pay cash for the transaction.

Pearson, the education-services company, noted it will be using the proceeds from the sale of the group, which provides corporate financial news specifically for those in the mergers and acquisitions business, to focus on its global-education division. It highlighted that it believes there is opportunity for English-language learning in both emerging markets and through digital-education platforms.

"[Mergermarket] has flourished under Pearson's ownership but it is not part of Pearson's strategy in global education," said Pearson's chief executive, John Fallon. "The transaction provides us with additional financial capacity to accelerate our push into digital learning, educational services and emerging markets."

Mergermarket, which was founded in 1999, was purchased by Pearson in 2006 for 101 million pounds ($165 million at today's exchange rates). It has assets of 129 million pounds and, last year, reported revenues of 100 million pounds with pre-tax profits of 23 million pounds.

Pearson noted that in 2012, Mergermarket contributed 0.025 pounds to its 0.45 pounds, or approximately 6%, to its earnings per share last year. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.


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