Jane Imrie

Pearson sells remaining Penguin Random House stake in $675m disposal deal

Multinational educational company Pearson has announced an agreement to sell the remainder of its stake in publishing giant Penguin Random House.

The firm is selling its final 25 per cent stake in the publishing house to partner Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA as part of its simplification strategy.

Formed in 2013, Penguin Random House is one of the world’s largest consumer book publishing companies, reporting revenues of $3.7bn in 2018.

Expected to close in the first half of 2020, the disposal deal will see a return of capital to Pearson shareholders through a £350m share buyback.

John Fallon, Pearson’s chief executive, commented: “For almost 50 years, Pearson has been proud to play our part in the publishing and commercial success of first Penguin and then more recently Penguin Random House.

“With the sale of our remaining stake to our partners, Bertelsmann, we know the company is in good hands - and we wish our colleagues and authors every future success.

“This enables Pearson now to be completely focused on building the world’s leading digital learning company, linking education to employability and skills, and reaching more learners around the world to support them through a lifetime of learning.”

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