CEO to lead buyout at FT Business

Pearson has appointed Lazards to oversee the sale of its financial magazines business to a team led by Stephen Hill.

Stephen Hill has announced that he is to step aside temporarily from his position as FT Group chief executive in order to lead a buyout of the group’s financial magazines business, FT Business.

Pearson plans to hold an auction to sell the unit, which publishes Investors Chronicle, The Banker, Financial Adviser and Money Management. The announcement was made to the London Stock Exchange as Pearson confirmed that it had received a number of approaches for the titles.

Hill is expected to seek private equity backing for his bid, which could value FT Business at between £60m and £90m. There is also expected to be interest from a number of other publishing houses.

The sale of FT Business is the latest in a number of disposals from Pearson, which sold FT Energy to McGraw Hill in September 2001. The FT Business group of titles had a turnover of around £30m last year.