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Exclusive: Grant Thornton mandated to sell Pearson College London

British educational publisher Pearson has appointed Grant Thornton to sell Pearson College London, which comprises Escape Studios and Pearson Business School, EducationInvestor Global can reveal.

This publication has learnt that information memoranda were distributed to potential buyers two weeks ago and the process is now approaching its first round.

The business generates revenue of around £10-15 million and is loss making, a source close to the process told this publication.

“The process is likely to attract only strategic buyers, while private equity firms are probably not too keen in investing in a loss-making business that might need some restructuring,” one of our sources said. “On the contrary, for a strategic buyer this asset could fit into their long-term plan and generate synergies over time.”

Pearson College London is composed of two main businesses: Escape Studios and Pearson Business School. Escape Studios is a visual effects academy offering short courses and degrees in visual effects, game art, animation and motion graphics, while Pearson Business School provides a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in business subjects including management, marketing and entrepreneurship.

The sale would be part of a series of divestments of non-core businesses that Pearson has been pursuing in the last couple of years. The company recently sold Éditions du renouveau pédagogique (ERPI) to TC Media, a unit of Montreal-based publishing and packaging company Transcontinental.

A few weeks earlier, Pearson sold its K12 learning content business in Italy and its small exam preparation business in Germany to Finnish media group Sanoma for €190 million.

Prior to this, the company disposed of its Brazilian sistemas business in October 2021 for £108m. Pearson is likely to sell additional assets in North America, Asia and possibly Europe in the coming months.

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