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Pearson sells Penguin Random House stake for $1B


Pearson PLC said Tuesday it is selling a 22% stake in Penguin Random House for $1 billion to its joint-venture partner, German media company Bertelsmann SE.

Pearson said it would distribute GBP300 million ($382.5 million) from the sale to shareholders through a share buyback program.

The British education and publishing company will still retain a 25% in the business after the sale, it said.

The sale values consumer publisher Penguin Random House Venture at an enterprise value of $3.55 billion, Pearson said.

The company also said on Tuesday it will pay future dividends "comfortably covered by the earnings," but excluding any contribution from Penguin Random House.

Previously, Pearson said it was planning to sell the entire 47% stake in U.S.-based Penguin Random House--one of the world's largest book publishers--to bolster its finances and invest in other parts of its business.

The sale is expected to close in September, Pearson said.

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