Pearson expands with a £252m Connections buy

EDUCATION and publishing group Pearson is to spend $400m (£252m) to acquire a US-based firm which runs “virtual” public schools serving more than 40,000 students who chose not to attend traditional schools.

Pearson, which is growing strongly in its education division, said the virtual schools were accredited and funded by the relevant states and were free to parents and students.

The acquisition of Connections Education also gives Pearson the opportunity to apply the virtual skills and technologies to new segments and geographies within its business.

Pearson said Connections Education had produced revenue growth of more than 30 per cent in each of the past three years and expects to generate revenues of around $190m in 2011.

Pearson expects the deal to enhance adjusted earnings per share from 2012, its first full year, including integration costs.