Pearson's divestiture of properties acquired from Simon &Schuster that do not fit with Pearson's core businesses began in earnest last week when the company announced that it had signed agreements to sell Appleton &Lange and Master Data Center.

In the larger of the two transactions, Pearson sold Appleton &Lange to the McGraw-Hill Cos. for $46 million. Based in Stamford, Conn., Appleton &Lange is a medical publisher whose products include the Lange series of basic medical science books and the current medical diagnosis &treatment series. An MHC spokesperson said details about the integration of Appleton into MHC have not yet been worked out.

In the second deal, Pearson sold Master Data Center to Information Holdings Inc. for $33 million. MDC provides payment services for the owners of intellectual property and sells software that facilitates the management of intellectual-property assets.

Other operations within the former S&S business and professional division that Pearson plans to sell are Jossey-Bass, Macmillan General Reference, Macmillan Library Reference, Prentice Hall Direct and the Bureau of Business Practices. The units are expected to be sold in piecemeal fashion.