Pearson buys Schoolnet for $230m

Financial Times owner continues education acquisitions with takeover of US technology company

Schoolnet

Pearson has bought Schoolnet for $230m

Pearson, which already has an extensive education business including PowerSchool for student information and eCollege for online learning, has agreed to pay $230m (£139m) for the US group. Pearson,  has made 10 significant acquisitions in the education sector in the last year.

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Schoolnet, which was founded in 1998, offers a system for allowing teachers to deliver personalized learning for students and serves more than 5 million US pupils through partnerships with states and districts.

Barack Obama’s administration has allocated about $17bn to states and districts to support school improvement, through programs such as Race to the Top, to use data and technology to help prepare students for college.

“Being able to offer a connective digital spine for learning has been Pearson’s goal for years,” said the Pearson chief executive, Marjorie Scardino. “Schoolnet has shared our passion, and together we can make that spine more flexible and powerful for schools, teachers and students.”

Shares in Pearson, which received about 80 percent of its revenue from education last year, are up 1.2 percent at 1,145 pence ($18.88). Pearson said the acquisition should be broadly neutral to earnings per share (EPS) in 2011, including integration costs, and should boost adjusted EPS in 2012.