From education to employment

Pearson interested in EDI acquisition

Education giant Pearson has announced plans to acquire awarding body EDI for £112.7 million to meet growing demand for vocational learning across the world.

Pearson aims to build on the success of its existing portfolio of education firms, which includes Edexcel, the UK’s largest awarding body, VUE, a computer-based testing and certification specialist, and VQ provider Melorio.

“EDI complements these businesses very well and its combination with Pearson would create an enlarged qualifications group offering a comprehensive range of vocational and academic services to the UK and international markets,” Pearson said in a statement.

“Pearson believes that its financial resources, international scale and strengths in assessment, publishing and technology will enhance the service that EDI can offer to its customers. The acquisition would also allow EDI to benefit from Pearson’s international scale, reach and resources.”

EDI’s board has recommended the offer of 200p in cash for each of its shares, which represented a premium of 61% to their closing price last Friday.

Nigel Snook, chief executive of EDI, said: “The offer price to acquire the EDI business reflects the value created for shareholders over the past ten years through the hard work and commitment of the staff and management team.

“We now look forward to working with our Pearson colleagues to take the business on to its next stage, creating a world-class organisation supporting vocational education and training programmes in the UK and internationally.”

John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson’s International Education Business, commented: “In EDI we have found a dynamic partner who shares our commitment to education and training.

“In the UK and around the world, we will be even better placed to work with employers and training partners to develop high quality apprenticeships and related qualifications. In this work, we will help companies to be more competitive and make their staff more employable.”

Susannah Fairbairn

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