London — May 25
Learning firm Pearson plc has announced its acquisition of GlobalEnglish from its current ownership group for $90 million in cash. The transaction is subject to approval by GlobalEnglish’s shareholders.
Founded in 1997 in California, GlobalEnglish is a provider of cloud-based, on-demand business English learning, assessment and performance support software.
It serves more than 450 corporate customers, including 20 percent of the Forbes Global 2000 companies, including General Electric Co., HSBC, Tata Consultancy Services and Unilever.
Its product suite is 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 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.
Roughly 75 percent of GlobalEnglish’s more than 200,000 active subscribers are in fast growing economies in Latin America and Asia.
The acquisition supports one of Pearson’s major priorities, which is to play a much bigger role in helping the two billion people around the world estimated to be learning English as a second or foreign language.
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 and to offer a full suite of relevant products and services.
In 2011, GlobalEnglish generated revenues of approximately $42 million with high renewal rates. The company has more than 200 employees across more than 20 countries and has product development offices in Silicon Valley, 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.
Source: Pearson plc