Agnelli family lifts stake in The Economist as Pearson sells out

Reuters, By Kate Holton, August 13

London – Britain’s Pearson brought an end to its near 60-year ownership of The Economist on Wednesday, agreeing to sell its 50 percent stake in a deal that makes Italy’s Agnelli family the largest shareholder in the weekly title.

The 469 million pound ($731 million) deal had been expected after Pearson sold the Financial Times newspaper last month to Japan’s Nikkei to focus on its education business.

The Economist, a famously opinionated advocate of free markets, said the deal would be structured in such a way as to guarantee its editorial independence.

Pearson said it would sell its stake to Exor, a holding vehicle for the Agnelli family, and to The Economist Group.

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