Education group Pearson has unveiled a £530m deal to sell its remaining 25 per cent stake in book publisher Penguin Random House as it announced the retirement of chief executive John Fallon next year.
Bertelsmann has agreed to buy the stake, with the acquisition valuing Penguin at around £2.8bn.
It ends Pearson’s near 50-year involvement with Penguin and marks the latest in a line of recent sales to become a pure digital learning company.
Pearson - which has also offloaded its media interests including the Financial Times Group and the Economist Group in recent years - said Mr Fallon will step down as boss in 2020 once a successor has been appointed.
Mr Fallon said: “There’s a lot still to do but we’re making good progress in navigating Pearson through a period of huge change.
“We’re now a much more efficient company, able to innovate more quickly and scale globally.”
Sidney Taurel, chairman of Pearson, added: “In some very challenging markets, John has worked tirelessly leading Pearson through a period of significant change and led its transformation from a media conglomerate to a single-focused learning company.”