The Times Higher and its sister titles in TSL Education Ltd are to be bought by Exponent Private Equity, it was announced this week. The sale, for £235 million, will be completed on October 18.
Since 1981, the paper has been owned by News International, which has overseen rises in its circulation and turnover. The paper will continue to carry The Times title and its publication arrangements will remain unchanged.
TSL Education, which also publishes The Times Educational Supplement and Nursery World , is the first purchase of London-based Exponent, which plans to develop the papers' activities further.
Stuart Wallis, who is to chair the company, said: "TSL Education has a tremendous position at the heart of the UK education sector. Its titles have a great heritage and have served the education market well for many decades. I look forward to working with the team to ensure that the company serves the needs of the next generation of education professionals."
Bernard Gray, head of UK publishing at United Business Media, will succeed James MacManus as chief executive. Mr Gray was a journalist at the Financial Times and special adviser to Lord Robertson at the Ministry of Defence before going into management.
Mr Gray, who studied chemistry at Hertford College, Oxford, said: " The Times Higher is the place to go to find out what's happening in higher education. The challenge is to continue to deliver a paper that seizes the opportunities that a dynamic higher education sector offers."
Mr MacManus said: " The Times Higher is a successful and profitable newspaper, as are all our titles, and I wish the new owners well in building on that success."