Pearson spends £187m on Chinese testing firm

PUBLISHING group Pearson yesterday announced its plan 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.

Though the merger is subject to the approval of Global Education’s board, Pearson expects to finalise 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.

Global Education has approximately 450 test centres in 60 cities. The firm’s Nasdaq-listed shares almost doubled in value to pass $10 yesterday.