Pearson buys CTI Education in £31m deal

Stephen Dinneen
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EDUCATIONAL publisher Pearson will acquire CTI Education Group for £31m as it continues its expansion in South Africa.

The Financial Times publisher will buy 75 per cent of the firm, which is among the leading private higher education providers in South Africa with more than 9,000 students.

Pearson says it expects the transaction to enhance its adjusted earnings per share and return on invested capital from 2011.

The agreement includes a provision under which Pearson may acquire the remaining 25 per cent of CTI in three years. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.

Pearson says it plans to recruit more students from throughout southern Africa to CTI’s campuses, as well as expanding its distance learning facilities.

John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson’s International Education business, said: “We are excited to bring our global resources to bear on the higher education sector in South Africa, to help meet a growing demand for high-quality, career-advancing higher education.

“We are deeply impressed by the quality of CTI’s business and the commitment of its management and staff to produce excellent outcomes for students.”

Pearson has a growing presence in southern Africa, with a network of companies including Maskew Miller Longman, Heinemann South Africa and the South African operations of Edexcel.

The firm has a strategy of moving away from traditional book publishing to educational technology. Sales in its International Education division are up eight per cent year-on-year for the nine months of 2010.