Pearson plc, the international media company, today intends to effect a placing for cash of new equity representing approximately 2.0% of its issued share capital. Proceeds from the placing will be used to finance further investment in expanding existing and developing new Internet related businesses. The increased investment will enable Pearson to accelerate the growth of these businesses by capitalising on the power of the company's brands and content.
The funds raised will be invested over the course of the next two years, primarily in the following areas:
- Developing ft.com as a major global business portal.
- Building a network of leading European and U.S. business and financial news, private investor and personal finance websites.
- Creating an on-line consumer focused education network linking students, parents and teachers.
- Pursuing Internet opportunities in Spanish and Portuguese speaking markets.
- Making strategic investments in Internet businesses that offer the potential for Pearson to exploit the strengths of its existing businesses, and to develop joint ventures and alliances.
Commenting on the placing, Marjorie Scardino, Chief Executive of Pearson plc said: "Content and brands count more than ever in this world. It's not whether we are in 'old' or 'new' media, or 'on-line' or 'off-line' that matters; it's how we use our content across all channels that will really count. With this placing, we will step up our investment in the Internet projects that enable us to transform the scale and scope of our businesses faster and more effectively."
The new ordinary shares are being placed by Cazenove & Co. and Goldman Sachs International. The placing is conditional on the admission of the new ordinary shares to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange becoming effective by 9am on 2 February 2000. Application for such admission has been made. The new ordinary shares to be issued pursuant to the placing will rank for all dividends and distributions on Pearson ordinary shares after the date hereof.
Neither this document nor any copy of it may be taken, transmitted or distributed, directly or indirectly, into the United States, Canada, Australia or Japan. Any failure to comply with this restriction may constitute a violation of US, Canadian, Australian or Japanese securities laws. Pearson ordinary shares proposed to be issued in connection with the placing may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration under the US Securities Act 1933 (as amended) or an exemption from such registration. It is intended that any Pearson ordinary shares to be offered under the placing to persons in the United States will be issued in reliance upon an exemption from such registration. This announcement is not an offer of any Pearson ordinary shares for sale or subscription in the United States or elsewhere. Cazenove & Co. and Goldman Sachs International are acting for Pearson plc in connection with the placing and will not be responsible to any other person for providing the protections afforded to their customers or advising any such person in connection with the placing.
For further information
John Fallon & John Makinson
+44 (0)20 7411 2310
Cazenove & Co.
David Mayhew & John Paynter
+44 (0)20 7588 2828
Goldman Sachs International
Andrew Learoyd & Chris Chapple
+44 (0)20 7744 1000