Monday, December 12, 2011

Pearson Rakes in $700MM from FTSE Sale

Pearson continues to shed non-core assets announcing today that they have sold their 50% interest in FTSE International Limited to The London Stock Exchange.  As they have done in the recent past, the company appears to have secured very good value from the divestiture.  Over the past two years, Pearson has quietly restructured their business, selling non-core businesses at high multiples, reorganizing internally and buying new businesses that expand their content distribution and service capabilities.

From the press release:
FTSE is a world-leader in the creation and management of more than 200,000 equity, bond and alternative asset class indices. With offices in London, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Madrid, Milan, Mumbai, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Tokyo, FTSE works with partners and clients in 80 countries worldwide.
Pearson and London Stock Exchange Group currently each own 50% of FTSE. Under the terms of the agreement, London Stock Exchange Group will acquire from Pearson the 50% of FTSE that it does not own and continue to use the FTSE name. The transaction is expected to close by the first quarter of 2012.
In 2010, FTSE reported total revenues of £98.5 million and total EBITDA of £40 million. At 31 December 2010, FTSE had gross assets of £100.8m.
Pearson expects FTSE to make a total post-tax contribution to Pearson’s adjusted earnings of approximately £18 million or 2.2p per share in 2011.
The transaction follows the sale of Pearson’s stake in Interactive Data last year for $2bn. It marks Pearson’s exit from companies that are primarily providers of financial data and strengthens the FT Group’s focus on global business news, analysis and intelligence, increasingly delivered through subscription models and digital channels.
In her quote CEO Majorie Scardino emphasized that the sale will enable the company to continue their strategy of buying digital and service oriented businesses that compliment their core businesses.  “For Pearson, the transaction further strengthens our financial position at a time of significant macroeconomic turbulence. We are freeing up capital for continued investment in a proven strategy: becoming more digital, more international and more service-oriented in education, business information and consumer publishing.”

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