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Pearson buys China English-language company
15.04.09 | Philip Jones
Pearson has paid $145m in cash for the China-based English-language provider Wall Street English. The deal makes Pearson China's second-largest private language training company by revenues, based on Pearson estimates, and takes Pearson's annual education sales in China (excluding Hong Kong) to more than $100m.
Launched in 2000, Wall Street English teaches abot 35,000 students at 39 company-owned training centers in seven cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Pearson bought the company from parent company Wall Street Institute, which is majority-owned by global private equity firm The Carlyle Group.
Following the acquisition, Pearson intends to combine Longman Schools and Wall Street English into one business with shared marketing, advertising, customer support, technology and back office services.
John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson's International Education business, said: "There will soon be two billion people speaking English around the world, and China is absolutely central to our plans to build on Pearson's position as the world's leading provider of English language teaching services. Wall Street English is a successful company with high-quality educational programmes, strong management, a premium brand, good cash flow and margins, and excellent growth prospects. It will be able to draw on the full range of Pearson's assets and resources to do even more to help China's young professionals acquire the skills they need to progress in their lives and careers. It also helps to establish Pearson as a major player in one of the most exciting and dynamic education markets anywhere in the world."