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Financial Times acquires Brazil’s Sistema Educacional Brasileiro’s Learning Systems Business for about £326 million

Pearson, owner of the Financial Times Thursday reported it had made a Brazilian acquisition in a move to expand its global business. The deal, aimed at enhancing the company’s educational arm’s growth, will see the Financial Times owner part with about £326 million. According to the announcement, the company acquired the learning systems operations of Sistema Educacional Brasileiro, a Brazilian company with businesses in the education sector and as well one of Brazil’s foremost education firms.

The investment is expected to reinforce the growth of Pearson’s fast burgeoning education business and will be undertaken in two parts. The first part of the deal will see Pearson remit about 70% of the 326 million pounds to the Zaher family, Sistema Educacional Brasileiro’s majority shareholder while the other 30% will go directly into paying for the publicly quoted shares of the Brazilian firm.

However, the gain for Pearson, according to the company, will come from an increased presence in the Brazilian market given the fact that Sistema is a leading industry player in the country in the provision of systems for the education industry. According to current estimates, Sistema provides learning systems that sustain about 450,000 primary and secondary school goers and teachers as well.

On the other hand, the Brazilian firm is expected to enhance its earnings one year after it joins the Pearson Company. Pearson’s international education company chief, John Fallon revealed the company had been considering investments in Brazil given the size and the growth potential of the Latin American country’s education sector. The company had focused on Brazil for quite some time and was awaiting an opportunity, Brazil is Latin America’s biggest economy and its fast growth offers potential for more business, said the chief executive.

He further added that the acquisition of Sistema’s learning systems business offers the company a dynamic partner, reiterating the Brazilian company’s effectiveness and expertise in the Brazilian education sector that has given it lots of reputation. Fallon said the acquisition would also offer a stage for the company to set up a more robust and considerable business in the Latin America content, subsequently enabling Pearson, in the long run provide a wider and incorporated education services.

Pearson is an international media as well as education company and has businesses in the information, education and consumer publishing markets. Its products and services are in the form of newspapers, books, online services e.g. the Financial Times and Pearson.

22 July 2010.