Takeover gives Pearson new scale in China

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The Independent Online

Pearson will "significantly" expand its education business in China, with the $155m (£99m) acquisition of a company which specialises in the fast growing area of local students preparing for English tests.

The FTSE 100 group, which owns Penguin and the Financial Times, makes the lion's share of its revenues through its education business and has been targeting expansion in fast-growing markets.

The takeover, announced yesterday, of the Nasdaq-listed Global Education and Technology Group, expected to be completed before the end of the year, marks the latest in a series of acquisitions across emerging markets, including India and Brazil. It expands its presence in China from eight cities to 60. Pearson currently offers English teaching to professionals and children in China through its Wall Street English and Longman Schools arms.

John Fallon, the chief executive of Pearson's international education business, said the acquisition "significantly extends our scale, geographic breadth and range of education in the fastest-growing English language teaching market in the world". Thomas Singlehurst, an analyst at Citi, said the deal was in Pearson's "sweet spot".