UK publisher Pearson scraps MEED bid

New CEO of publisher pulls out of plans to buy data and news service – reports

Former Pearson boss Dame Marjorie Scardino was said to be mulling plans to buy MEED from trade publisher Top Right.

Former Pearson boss Dame Marjorie Scardino was said to be mulling plans to buy MEED from trade publisher Top Right.

British education and media publisher Pearson has pulled out of plans to acquire Middle East Economic Digest (MEED), a regionally focused data and news service, UK newspaper The Independent reported.

Former Pearson boss Dame Marjorie Scardino was said to be mulling plans to buy MEED from trade publisher Top Right, but new CEO John Fallon has overturned the decision, the newspaper said.

Fallon, who took over Pearson last week, deemed the GDP£35m (US$65m) asking price too much, although there had been suggestions that Dame Marjorie might have paid more.

Top Right, formerly known as Emap, is believed to have scrapped the sale process, added the newspaper.

Dame Marjorie tripled sales at Pearson, owner of the Financial Times Group, during her 16-year tenure. Under her guidance the London-based firm expanded its education business as well as the digital versions of books, journals and newspapers in a bid to counter declining sales of print products. 

The Financial Times Group accounted for 7 percent of sales at Pearson in 2011, while education made up 75 percent and 18 percent from the Penguin book publisher.

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Posted by: Peter Cooper

Talk about bad timing. Now would be a great time to buy MEED - we are just in the early phases of an oil boom and then you will have the recovery of the Arab Spring to come. Selling MEED and presumably their sister website AME Info would be madness now but then these big groups always know best! ITP should buy them...

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