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A Volatile Time in UK Publishing

The Independent’s Saeed Shah analyzes the recent report by Pearson (parent company of Penguin) that their profits will be at its highest in years, leading to a five-year-high in stock prices. But even though rumors still swirl that a private equity company could swoop in and buy the company outright – or even that it will sell its flagship newspaper, the Financial Times – chief executive Marjorie Scardino is holding fast. Scardino can enjoy her time at Pearson, Shah says, because she kept her nerve through the downturn and was brave enough to invest. A decade at the top of one of Britain’s leading companies is an achievement in itself. Scardino seems determined to see through her strategy and bask in its success.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph reports that Brandes Investment Partners, the value investor, has increased its stake in the troubled entertainment retailer HMV. The fund manager, which is based in the US, is now the group’s largest shareholder with 40.8m shares, a 10.15pc stake. Brandes’s investment has been led by fund manager Amelia Morris, who has invested heavily in a number of UK retailers, most notably Marks & Spencer, over the past five years.

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