Pearson Plc, the world's largest book publisher, today said that it will buy China's Global Education and Technology Group, for $155 million in cash.
With this proposed acquisition, Pearson, which owns London-based Financial Times and Penguin Books, is consolidating its presence in China after having bought Wall Street English, one of the top Chinese English language-training (ELT) companies, from private equity firm Carlyle for $145 million in cash in 2009.
Global Education is a leading provider of test preparation services in China for students who are working towards internationally-recognised English language assessments.
Pearson estimates that approximately 500,000 Chinese students take these tests each year, a four-fold increase over the past five years which has produced rapid growth in spending on related teaching and preparation services.
Founded in 2001, Global Education has built a network of approximately 450 test preparation and training centres across 60 cities in China. Approximately 115 of these centres are company-owned and the remainder franchised.
It also has an online course delivery platform for students and professionals. In addition to its core English language test preparation services, Global Education also provides English language training for children, tutoring in a range of subjects and teaching for other foreign languages.