Pearson acquires GlobalEnglish for $90M

Pearson has acquired GlobalEnglish for $90 million in cash.

Founded in 1997 in California, GlobalEnglish is a leading provider of cloud-based, on-demand Business English learning, assessment and performance support software. It serves more than 450 corporate customers, including 20 per cent of the Forbes Global 2000 companies, including General Electric, HSBC, Tata Consultancy Services and Unilever. Its product suite is uniquely suited to serve the needs of global professionals with a comprehensive offering – formal Business English learning coursework, informal and social learning capabilities, performance support tools, an enterprise collaboration platform, a mobile app, assessments and a premium one-on-one coaching service. GlobalEnglish’s Business English content is also entirely focused on the application of Business English to real life business situations such as composing emails and participating in conference calls, and its efficacy is highly rated by global companies and their employees. Approximately 75 per cent of GlobalEnglish’s more than 200,000 active subscribers are in fast growing economies in Latin America and Asia.

GlobalEnglish complements Pearson’s adult English language training business, Wall Street English, by enabling Pearson to expand more rapidly into the corporate market with cost-effective and scalable cloud-based Business English software solutions and to offer the world’s pre-eminent companies a full suite of relevant products and services.

In 2011 GlobalEnglish generated revenues of approximately $42m with high renewal rates. The company has more than 200 employees across more than 20 countries and has product development offices in Silicon Valley (USA), India and Korea. Pearson will be expensing integration costs relating to GlobalEnglish in 2012 and expects the acquisition to enhance adjusted earnings per share and to generate a return on invested capital above Pearson’s weighted average cost of capital from 2013, its first full year.

John Fallon, Chief Executive of Pearson’s International education business, said, “The rise of English as a global language of business continues. This acquisition enables Pearson to play a much more systematic role in meeting the need of major companies around the world for quality, effective, scalable and relevant English language learning. We can combine services, technology, brands and content from across the Pearson family with the GlobalEnglish product portfolio to enrich the learning experience and enhance further the effectiveness of the teaching.”

UK, London &  USA, Silicon Valley, CA

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