Pearson to Sell 4% Indirect Stake in BSkyB for #408 Million

Pearson plc the international media company, is to sell its 4 per cent indirect stake in British Sky Broadcasting Group plc to Vivendi for £408 million.

Pearson will dispose of a wholly-owned subsidiary together with all its assets and liabilities including an indirect holding (through BSB Holdings Limited) of some 68 million BSkyB shares. The sale values the underlying BSkyB shares at 600 pence per share. Pearson has reached the agreement with Vivendi in conjunction with Granada Group PLC which is also disposing of its indirect stake in BSkyB. The disposal is conditional principally on the completion of Vivendi's merger with Pathe and obtaining certain regulatory clearances. Pearson will use the sale proceeds to reduce debt.

The cash consideration will be met out of Vivendi's own resources, with the balance being met by the issuance of Vivendi shares to Pearson. Arrangements have been made for the sale of these shares such that Pearson will receive £408 million in cash at completion.

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Pearson plc


John Fallon


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