Thursday, September 13, 2007

Pearson Selling Newspaper Interest

Pearson has been in the process of selling its French newspaper Les Echos for a few months now (Guardian) and recently Reuters reported that Pearson is also in negotiations to sell their 50% interest in a German version of the Financial Times. This is consistent with their reasoning expressed to justify the Les Echos deal which is that they want to concentrate on English language newspaper publishing. There has been significant speculation regarding their newspaper holdings in the wake of the Dow Jones/Newscorp deal particularly the potential impact on the FT. Newscorp has made it clear they want to overtake the FT in the non-us markets. Numerous analysts have suggested the company should sell the FT because the competition is expected to be intense and it looks like the FT has overcome some of its revenue and print legacy issues that analysts were focused on over the past two years.

Regardless, there is no indication - actually the opposite - that the company is about to ditch the FT. My guess is they are going to take on the challenge of the Newscorp/WSJ combination and they may well do better than analyst anticipate.

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