Pearson Buys Controlling Stake In TutorVista For $127 Million

Pearson (NYSE: PSO), owner of the Financial Times and book publisher Penguin, has increased its presence in India, buying a controlling stake in education firm TutorVista for $127m (£79m).

The UK company, which derives almost 70% of group revenue from the education sector, has upped its stake in TutorVista to a controlling 76%. Pearson originally acquired a minority stake in TutorVista, which was founded in 2005, in June last year.

“TutorVista is an innovative and effective education company that we have worked with and respected for several years. This acquisition, which we believe is the largest transaction in education in India by any company, signals our excitement about the vitality of India’s education sector,” said Marjorie Scardino, the Pearson chief executive.

TutorVista operates in four areas providing technology and content to private and government schools, online tutoring to more than 10,000 students per month, a network of 60 centres across India delivering tuition courses and a full schools development service.

Today’s deal, which brings Pearson’s total investment in the company to $139m, is its latest move to increase its educational assets in international markets outside the US.

The US market accounts for about 65% of Pearson’s total education revenues. However, the fastest growing part of Pearson’s portfolio is the international education business outside of north America. Between 2005 and 2009 revenues for the international education business grew by 17% while operating profits trebled.

Last summer Pearson spent $497m (£326m) acquiring the school learning systems business of Brazilian education company SEB and also expanded its presence in China and South Africa.

This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.