Britain's Pearson on Wednesday agreed to sell its 50 percent stake in the Economist Group for 469 million pounds ($730.6 million), in a deal which makes Italy's Agnelli family the largest investor in the weekly publication.
Fresh from the sale of the Financial Times newspaper to Japan's Nikkei, Pearson said it had agreed the sale of the Economist to Exor, a holding vehicle for the Agnelli family, and to other existing shareholders which include the Cadbury, Layton, Rothschild and Schroder families.
"We are convinced of the huge potential that still lies ahead and particularly in The Economist's ability to seize the many development opportunities linked to the digitisation of the media industry," John Elkann, the CEO of Exor and a scion of the Agnelli family, said in the statement.
Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker said the price was higher than was speculated, with analysts expecting an amount nearer to 400 million pounds.
Exor said the sale would take its stake in the Economist to 43.4 percent from 4.7 percent for a price of 287 million pounds.