Publishers changing hands fast

As the publishing biz continues to consolidate, the McGraw-Hill Companies agreed Monday to sell its education group to Apollo Management for $2.5 billion, mostly in cash.

The textbook division, once central to the conglom, pulled in an estimated $2.3 billion in revenue in 2011. But McGraw Hill has been slowly transforming its business around ratings agency Standard & Poors. It unloaded Business Week for basically nothing to Bloomberg in 2009.

As reading habits change, big publishers continue to change hands. Pearson agreed to sell its Penguin group to Bertelsmann’s Random House earlier this month. And News Corp., which also made a run at Penguin, would like to beef up HarperCollins.

McGraw Hill anticipates proceeds of $1.9 billion after taxes and closing costs from the deal, which will close late this year or early next.

McGraw-Hill still owns market research firm J.D. Power & Associates and energy experts Platts.

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