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Pearson to buy GlobalEnglish for $90m

Pearson, one of the world’s biggest education companies, is to pay US$90 million for GlobalEnglish – an online English for business service with significant reach in the developing world. Founded in 1997 in the US, GlobalEnglish provides ELT for corporate clients that focusses on day-to-day business needs, such as composing emails and participating in conference calls.

"The rise of English as a global language of business continues"

Its clients include General Electric and Tata Consultancy Services, and around 75% of its more than 200,000 subscribers are based in Latin America and Asia.

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.”

The deal is the latest Pearson acquisition in the global ELT space after it bought Wall Street English for $145m in 2009; Wall Street Institute for $92 million in 2010; and Global Education and Technology Group in China for $155m last year. It also delivers teaching and learning resources and the Pearson Test of English worldwide.

“A strong complement to Pearson’s existing portfolio”

Pearson said it planned to combine “services, technology, brands and content from across the Pearson family” with the GlobalEnglish product portfolio.

“GlobalEnglish’s solutions are perfectly aligned with Pearson’s dedication to digital transformation and international expansion, and a strong complement to Pearson’s existing portfolio of offerings,” Mahesh Ram, chief executive of GlobalEnglish, said.

The transaction is subject to approval by GlobalEnglish’s shareholders.

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