The New York-based McGraw-Hill Companies announced Monday it will split up into two public companies, with one focused on education and the other centered on markets, featuring the Standard & Poor's unit, by the end of the year.
"This plan is all about accelerating growth and value," McGraw-Hill CEO, president and chairman Terry McGraw said in a video posted on the company's website and YouTube. "Creating two sharply-focused companies brings flexibility to pursue global opportunities."
The board has approved the split. The move follows a yearlong review and comes as investors have been pushing McGraw-Hill to boost its stock price, which has dropped more than 40 percent since 2006.
The S&P ratings agency has been under fire for its recent downgrade of U.S. debt, as well as several bad calls it made leading up to the financial crisis and economic meltdown that began in 2008.
McGraw-Hill said Monday it will also speed up share buybacks to a total of $1 billion for 2011. It has bought back about half that amount to date.
McGraw-Hill Education will focus on education services and digital learning.
McGraw-Hill Markets will retain S&P and J.D. Power and Associates, a market research company. It will also include S&P Capital IQ, a provider of data, research, benchmarks and analytics, as well as Platts, a provider of information and indices in energy, petrochemicals and metals.
Terry McGraw, chairman, president and CEO of the company, will lead the Markets business. A search has begun for a leader of the education business, the company said.
With the Associated Press