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Pearson to make £99m acquisition

Steve Dinneen
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PEARSON has agreed to buy vocational training provider Melorio for £99.3m in cash. It is the UK media group’s first acquisition since its $2bn (£1.4bn) Interactive Data stake sale.

Pearson, the world’s top educational publisher which also owns the Financial Times newspaper and Penguin books, said it agreed with Melorio’s board to offer 225p a share for the firm – a 31 per cent premium to its closing price on Monday, the last trading day before the offer.

Melorio, which specialises in vocational training for the information technology, construction and healthcare sectors in Britain, said on Tuesday it had received a takeover approach and was in advanced discussions.

Pearson said yesterday the acquisition was a response to growing global demand for vocational training, with developed economies looking to maintain their competitive position.

Melorio, advised by Cenkos on the deal, said its board believed the offer to be fair and reasonable while Pearson, advised by Lazard, said it had received undertakings to accept the offer from owners of about 49.9 per cent of Melorio shares.