Pearson takes £326m stake in Brazil education group

Rupert Neate:

Pearson, which also owns Penguin Books, has agreed to buy the “learning systems” division of Sistema Educational Brasilerio (SEB), as part of the FTSE 100 company’s plan to expand its presence in south America.
The deal will more than double the size of Pearson’s education business in Brazil and includes an agreement that will ensure that SEB’s remaining schools and higher education institutions remain “major customers” of Pearson.
The acquisition comes after Dame Marjorie Scardino, Pearson’s chief executive, pledged to reinvest the company’s £900m windfall from the sale of its majority-stake in market data provider IDC into expanding its education business in fast-growing economies.
Pearson said Brazil is one of the world’s largest education markets with 56m students and an educational materials market valued at about $2bn. Pearson said it expects the new division to generate sales of about 160m reais this year.