Pearson buys GlobalEnglish for $90m

As the rise of English as the language of global business continues, Pearson expands its stake in th

Pearson is one of the world’s leading education companies. Photograph: Getty Images

The British publisher and education company Pearson has acquired the US-based software provider GlobalEnglish Corporation for $90m in cash, in a bid to play a larger role in helping people learn English as a second or foreign language.

The acquisition complements Pearson’s adult English language training business Wall Street English by enabling the company to expand rapidly into the corporate market, using GlobalEnglish's cost-effective, cloud-based business English software.

In 2011, GlobalEnglish generated revenues of approximately $42m. The company has more than 200 employees across more than 20 countries and has offices in US, India and Korea.

John Fallon, chief executive of international education business at Pearson, said:

We are impressed by GlobalEnglish’s services and products, the ambition and professionalism of its management and staff and the positive testimonials of customers from major international corporations.

The rise of English as a global language of business continues. This acquisition enables Pearson to play a much more systematic role in meeting the need of major companies around the world for quality, effective, scalable and relevant English language learning. We can combine services, technology, brands and content from across the Pearson family with the GlobalEnglish product portfolio to enrich the learning experience and enhance further the effectiveness of the teaching.

Mahesh Ram, chief executive of GlobalEnglish, said:

This transaction is a wonderful endorsement of the value of GlobalEnglish’s unique focus on enabling the productivity and high performance of global professionals with innovative, cloud-based Business English software. GlobalEnglish’s solutions are perfectly aligned with Pearson's dedication to digital transformation and international expansion, and a strong complement to Pearson's existing portfolio of offerings.

The acquisition strengthens both businesses. It positions Pearson as a leader in providing the highest quality Business English enterprise software offerings via the cloud to the world's leading companies, and, with Pearson's commitment to ongoing investment in GlobalEnglish we will be able to expand our unique strengths and competitive advantages, and ultimately better serve our clients.