Pearson buys China English-language company

<p>Pearson has paid $145m in cash for the China-based English-language provider Wall Street English. The deal makes Pearson China&#39;s second-largest private language training company by revenues, based on Pearson estimates, and takes Pearson&#39;s annual education sales in China (excluding Hong Kong) to more than $100m.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.<br /><br />John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson&#39;s International Education business, said: &quot;There will soon be two billion people speaking English around the world, and China is absolutely central to our plans to build on Pearson&#39;s position as the world&#39;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&#39;s assets and resources to do even more to help China&#39;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.&quot;</p>