Pearson to Sell Financial Times and Focus Solely on ‘Global Education Strategy’

Associate Editor

Pearson announced Thursday that it will sell the FT Group, which includes the Financial Times newspaper, to the Japanese company, Nikkei Inc., for the equivalent of about $1.3 billion in cash.

The move signals the London-based company’s intent “to be 100 percent focused on our global education strategy,” said John Fallon, Pearson’s chief executive, in a statement.

To many in the world of K-12, it might seem that Pearson is already just that focused on education. The Wall Street Journal reported that Pearson generates about 60 percent of its sales in North America, and three-quarters of its revenue from education. For years, Pearson had rejected rumors that it would sell the paper, the Journal wrote.

While indicating that the company has been the “proud proprietor” of the FT for nearly 60 years, Fallon added that the world of media had reached an inflection point “driven by the explosive growth of mobile and social,” which means that FT would be better suited to joining a global, digital news business.

Pearson’s market presence in education—in the U.S. and worldwide—continues to be massive. My colleague Sean Cavanagh writes regularly about the company’s assessment contracts in the U.S., and its acquisitions. (See some recent stories below.) Last month the company reported that it was jettisoning PowerSchool for $350 million, in a shift away from management systems.

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