Pearson Agrees to Purchase eCollege for $477 Million
Pearson, an international education, business-information and consumer publishing company, with headquarters in London and New York, has agreed to purchase eCollege, which the company calls a leader in the fast-growing U.S. online distance-learning market.
Founded in 1996, eCollege works with partner educational institutions to design, build and support online degree, certificate, diploma and professional-development programs. It offers a full range of on-demand software services including virtual campuses, course management and assessment, retention-monitoring tools and reporting.
The net cost to Pearson will be $477 million.
“eCollege will make Pearson an even stronger education company,” says Marjorie Scardino, Pearson’s chief executive. “It has been a valued partner for some years, and we have the highest regard for its people and their skills, and its commitment to servicing their education customers. The acquisition meets our financial goals and supports our strategy of combining content, technology and services to advance learning.”
According to Pearson, eCollege supports approximately 180 institutions, and in 2006, student enrollments in its online courses were approximately 1.2 million.