Education group Pearson rakes in over £160m from EU deals
Education group Pearson is set to sell its K12 Courseware businesses in Italy and Germany for £163m, after several years of intermittent online learning.
The deal, cut with Finland-based Sanoma Corporation, will also see Pearson share its English language teaching products in Italy.
The disposals are hoped to have unlocked around £15m to £20m for Pearson’s adjusted operating profit.
Pearson shares slipped 0.2 per cent to 746.4p per share by late afternoon.
Pearson had been struck hard by pandemic-induced lockdowns which saw children and teachers across the world adapt to online education.
The British group had launched a strategic review of its International Courseware local publishing businesses in March last year.
Amid the review, Pearson sold off its Brazilian sistemas business in October for some £108m and later launched a £350m share buyback programme to bolster its fiscal position in a sustained pivot towards education technology – also known as edtech.
As of April, Pearson had secured more than £75m of the buyback’s total.
It follows a strong start to the year for Pearson, which enjoyed a more than 30 per cent leap in adjusted operating profit to £385m. The company had also boasted a sales income of £3.4bn, though it had only managed to grow this figure one per cent year-on-year.
The sparkly set of full-year results had painted a pretty picture for investment giant Apollo, which proceeded to fire three lofty but unsolicited bids at the London-headquartered group.
After fielding several takeover offers – which eventually swelled to £6.7bn – Pearson rejected the takeover bid, despite grappling with a new pandemic-era education environment.
“Pearson has been reorganised and refocused with a new purpose to ‘add life to a lifetime of learning’,” chief executive Andy Bird said in February.
“Pearson is a digital first business… and the momentum across the company underpins our confidence for further growth in 2022 and beyond.”