'Investors Chronicle' put on sale by Pearson

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The Independent Online

Pearson has put its specialist financial publications up for sale, which includesInvestors Chronicle, in order to concentrate on its global publications.

The company has received "several expressions of interest" for its FT Business division, which also publishes The Banker, Money Management and Financial Adviser.

A management buyout is being put together. The other likely buyers include Informa Group, which publishes Lloyds List, Wilmington Group, and McGraw-Hill, the company behind Business Week.

Investors Chronicle, the leading weekly for retail investors, traces its origins back to 1860, when it was founded as Money Market Review.

The unit falls within the FT Group, a Pearson division run by the chief executive, Stephen Hill, which is dominated by the Financial Times and Pearson's 50 per cent stake in The Economist – these international titles are not for sale.

Mr Hill confirmed yesterday that he plans to lead a management buyout of FT Business.

Pearson is under pressure from its weak share price performance. The divestment of FT Business would help reduce debt and show the market that the company is continuing to focus on its core business. Last year Pearson agreed to sell its stake in RTL to Bertelsmann, in the last major deal in the restructuring of the group under its chief executive Dame Marjorie Scardino.