Pearson to buy China education firm for $294m

Publishing group Pearson announced today an agreement to acquire Chinese-based Global Education and Technology Group for a headline price of $294m (£187.8m).

The purchase of Global Education, a test preparation service for students learning English, bolsters Pearson’s position as the world’s largest learning company while also expanding its operations in China.

Pearson believes Global Education will generate revenues of approximately $65m in 2011. The company is paying $155m in cash since Global Education has a surplus of $139m.

“We’re learning a lot about the very significant growth opportunities we see in China and about the value of combining our content and technology with high-quality school networks,” said John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson's international education business. “It also significantly extends our scale, geographic breadth and range of education in the fastest-growing English language teaching market in the world."

Shares in Global Education closed nearly 28 per cent higher Friday, at $5.37. Though the merger is subject to the approval of Global Education’s board, Pearson expects to finalize the deal in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Global Education was founded in 2001 and has since become a leading test preparation company in China, expanding four-fold in the past five years. It offers services to a wide variety of society, including professionals, students, academic institutions and corporations and governments. Global Education has approximately 450 test centers in 60 cities.