Pearson to close adult education arm with £120m loss

Pearson took a £120m hit yesterday as its new chief executive, John Fallon, announced plans to close its UK adult education arm less than three years after buying the core business, Melorio, for £99m.

Pearson, owner of the Financial Times and the publisher Penguin, said it will try to sell the assets of the business, now called Pearson in Practice.

Dame Marjorie Scardino, Mr Fallon's predecessor, warned last year that adult training was suffering, after the Government changed the way apprenticeships were funded.

When Dame Marjorie bought AIM-listed Melorio in 2010, she paid a 31 per cent premium to the share price.

The move did not surprise City analysts and comes just a week after Dame Marjorie formally left. "We very much regret the decision to plan for closure, but we believe we have exhausted all alternatives," said Mr Fallon. Shares in Pearson fell 12p to 1,210p.