Baring Private Equity Asia and CITIC Capital to acquire Wall Street English from Pearson

wse-logo@2xBaring Private Equity Asia and CITIC Capital Holdings Limited are acquiring Wall Street English, the provider of English language training to adults, from Pearson Plc.

Founded in 1972, WSE serves around 180,000 learners per year through 70 corporate owned centers in China, 9 corporate owned centers in Italy and 321 franchised centers across 27 territories. It has over 3 million graduates to date.

in 2016 WSE contributed £175 million in revenue to Pearson, an adjusted operating profit of £7m and a statutory operating profit of £4m. The business had approximately 3,600 employees at the end of June 2017.

The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed. However, Pearson announced that the transaction is expected to generate gross cash to Pearson of around $300 million after adjustments for assumed deferred revenue and historical tax liabilities. Tax and net transaction costs are expected to be around $50 million.

Yan JIAO, Managing Director of BPEA, commented: “Wall Street English has a great brand in the adult English learning training space, and has proven its capabilities in the fast-growing China market where it holds a leading position. We believe WSE has great potential to grow as an independent company and are pleased to have a high quality leadership team in place. We look forward to partnering with CITIC Capital and drawing upon our previous experience in the private education sector to take the business forward in both China and the rest of the world.”

Dejun LUO, Managing Director of CITIC Capital, commented: “Wall Street English has built a solid foundation in China over its 17 years of operation. Its best-of-class teaching methodology, software and industry know-how are matched by no other in helping students improve their English language capability and achieve their development goals. We are eager to harness the energy and enthusiasm of WSE’s staff and instructors to bring this unique study experience to consumers in more cities across China and other parts of the world. We are here to unleash the immense energy and limitless potential of WSE with our unrivalled resources and network.”

Hong Kong & UK, London

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