Education and publishing group Pearson has bought Utah-based IT examining business Certiport from private equity firm Spire Capital Partners, expanding its professional testing business, Pearson VUE.
Certiport, acquired for $140m in cash, develops, markets and distributes certification exams and practice tests of IT and digital literacy skills. It works through a network of 12,000 testing centres operated by 70 partners worldwide.
"Certiport's foundation-level services complement Pearson VUE's strong position in certifications and assessments for established technology professionals," the company said.
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The acquisition is said to support Pearson VUE's expansion into fast-growing international markets, generating more than 60% of its revenues outside North America with particular strength in Asia and the Middle East.
The company generated $48m in revenues last year and has increased revenues at a compound annual rate of more 20% over the past three years. It is expected to be earnings enhancing (on an adjusted basis) to Pearson from 2013, its first full year.
Rona Fairhead, Chief Executive of Pearson's professional education businesses, said: "Certiport is a high-quality company serving the significant demand for foundation IT skills. That need is growing fast and is truly international. The combination of Pearson VUE and Certiport will strengthen both businesses and will give us a unique portfolio of technology assessments and certification, serving everyone from a basic word-processing users to technology experts."
Pearson was trading 0.43% higher at 1,157p by 15:46 on Wednesday.
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