Financial Times Group Sells Extel Research Products

The Financial Times Group, part of Pearson plc, the international media group, has sold its Extel research products business to Primark for £19m in cash. Under the terms of the sale, Primark will supply company data, on a global basis, to the Financial Times Group for use by its businesses for the next ten years.

Stephen Hill, Chief Executive of the Financial Times Group said, "Extel has some fine products, but it lacks the global, comprehensive data sets its customers increasingly demand. It is a business that is clearly worth more to Primark than it is to us. This deal also gives our own businesses access to a combined global company information database, which means we can concentrate on investing in the value added strategic business information and analysis for which the Financial Times is known."

Extel research products, which is the business being sold to Primark, generated revenues in 1998 of £11m. It provides fundamental data on over 15,000 companies, principally in the UK, with increasing coverage of Europe, Asia and the US. Originally supplied in the form of Extel Cards, the information is now available electronically and via the web.

The Financial Times Group is retaining EXSHARE the European arm of FT Asset Management, which is the world's leading supplier of end of day pricing and securities valuations and operates in the United States through its Interactive Data operations



The Financial Times Group consists of:

The Financial Times is the world's leading international business newspaper. In the last year, daily worldwide circulation has increased by 15.6% to 384,679 (ABC Jan 98 vs Jan 99), with non-UK sales rising by 36.9% to 210,022.

The Financial Times Asset Management business, through its Interactive Data, EXSHARE and Information Express operations is the leading global provider of end of day pricing and valuation of securities to the fund management industry, reporting on 3.5 million securities. provides its corporate audiences with the very best general news and analysis and specialist company and market information and financial data. It generates more advertisement revenue than any other UK site and has over 1.5 million registered users worldwide, with the majority outside the UK.

Financial Times Business produces specialist information on particular industries - energy, media and telecommunications and finance - where the group has a market leading position. It publishes the UK's premier personal finance magazine, Investors Chronicle, and the Banker, Money Management and Financial Adviser for professional advisers. Its energy business operates under the brand Research Data International, based in the USA.

FTSE International, a joint venture with the London stock exchange, provides the professional investment community with the leading UK indices and, together with the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, publishes the Eurotop family of indices.

AFX News, a news agency jointly owned by the FT Group and Agence France-Presse, is a global provider of real time financial and business news.

Groupe Les Echos, France's leading business newspaper and magazine publisher; and Recoletos, one of Spain's leading media companies, which publishes Expansion, the leading Spanish business and financial newspaper; are also part of the Pearson group.

Pearson also owns 50% stakes in Business Day and Financial Mail, South Africa's leading business publisher; and The Economist Group, publisher of the world's leading weekly business and current affairs journal. The Economist Group also publishes the Journal of Commerce, CFO and operates the Economist Intelligence Unit.


For further information

Pearson plc


John Fallon


+44 171 411 2310


Financial Times Group


Stephen Hill


+44 171 873 3000