With its $721 million acquisition of Brazil’s Grupo Multi, Pearson has become the market leader in English language education amongst adults in Brazil. Grupo Multi provides English-language training through a variety of language school chains, most notably Wizard, Microlins, Skill and Yazigi. Grupo Multi serves over 800,000 students across 2,600 franchized schools for children, adolescents, and adults.
Pearson’s investment in Brazil comes amidst slowing in its North American market, with fewer textbook sales as a result of lower freshman enrollment in the U.S. According to its annual report, 76% of Pearson’s sales were in education.
According to a press release, “the acquisition supports Pearson’s strategy of focusing investment in fast-growing economies, digital and services business, and education programs that can deliver a greater and measurable impact on learning outcomes.”
Brazil is among the largest English learning markets in the world, with 2.8 million students of all ages and an estimated worth of $2 billion. It is expected to continue to grow with an expanding middle class and affordable English courses available through franchised schools. Furthermore, English in Brazil is relatively poor compared with other countries. As Brazil prepare to host the World Cup this year and the Olympic Games in 2016, Brazilians are signing up for English classes more than ever.
John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson, said: “Brazilians’ appetite for learning English as a global language of business and trade shows every sign of continuing to grow rapidly as Brazil becomes a global player in commerce, travel and a host of other industries.
Over the past twenty-five years, Grupo Multi has become the most respected English learning company in Brazil by offering high quality affordable English language learning that has made a real impact on the lives of its students. We intend to sustain and grow the business, helping many more young Brazilians to acquire the English language skills that will help them succeed in their careers.”