Pearson, the owner of the Financial Times, said today a stake worth more than £280m held in the company by Libya had been frozen.
The Gaddafi regime is the fourth biggest shareholder with a 3.3 per cent holding in the company.
Pearson said sovereign wealth fund the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) acquired 24,431,000 ordinary shares in the company last June and possibly a further 2,141,179 shares since.
Having taken legal advice regarding its obligations under the financial sanctions ordered against Libya by the United Nations, Pearson said shares held by or on behalf of the LIA were now effectively frozen.
The company said:
‘As a result, Pearson has today informed the LIA and its nominees that Pearson will not register any transfer or pay any dividend in respect of the shares until further notice.”