Friday, November 16, 2012

Pearson CFO says no plans to sell FT, book stake

BARCELONA (Reuters) - British media group Pearson does not have any plans to sell the Financial Times or a stake in a business being formed from a merger of its Penguin Books unit with Bertelsmann's Random House.

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecoms conference on Wednesday, finance director Robin Freestone said Pearson was committed to two sections of its business dwarfed in recent years by its education business.

Speculation increased about the FT and Penguin Books following the October 3 announcement that John Fallon, head of international education, was to take over as chief executive from Marjorie Scardino at the end of the year.

Pearson then announced later in October it and Bertelsmann were to form the world's largest book publisher to better cope with major retailers such as Amazon and Apple.

"We have entered this thing with the hope that it survives for a very long time," Freestone told the conference in Barcelona.

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