Pearson expands further into Indian education

Publishing group Pearson showed its commitment to emerging markets yesterday by taking a further 59 per cent stake in Indian education firm TutorVista for $127m (£80m).

India’s education sector, worth a staggering $86bn, is seeing fresh interest from foreign firms and large funds which are pumping money into services, technology and infrastructure.

John Makinson, chairman of Pearson India, said: “India, China and Brazil are the focus now. We are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in these markets.

“The acquisition gives us a platform to develop school learning in India.”

Pearson, which had acquired a 17.2 per cent stake in TutorVista in 2009, will now own 76.2 per cent of the online firm. It plans to increase the holding to 80 per cent by February.

The British educational technology provider, which also owns Penguin Books and the Financial Times, expects the deal to add to adjusted earnings per share in 2012.

Its move from a pure book publisher to the leading educational technology provider has enabled the company to gain market share in North America and helped improve results.

The Indian firm, which is currently valued at $211m, has raised $38m in venture funding in the last four years.

Blended growth rate in Indian education services firms is seen at 21 per cent over the next 12 months, according to estimates, outstripping the 18 per cent growth forecast in the information technology sector.