Pearson Acquires EmbanetCompass

NEW YORK, N.Y., Oct. 16, 2012 — Pearson, the world's leading learning company, is announcing today the acquisition of EmbanetCompass from an investor group led by Technology Crossover Ventures and Knowledge Universe, for $650m in cash.

Will Ethridge, CEO of Pearson North America, said, "The acquisition of EmbanetCompass extends Pearson's investment in two areas where we see great opportunities for growth and impact–online education and educational services. The combination of Pearson and EmbanetCompass creates the premier provider of online learning and education services and will further enable us to advance the goals of the institutions and students we serve with innovative and proven programs."

EmbanetCompass is a leader in online services with strong growth, customer satisfaction and student retention. They develop customized technology platforms and services including marketing, recruitment, retention services, instructional design, and course development for non-profit colleges and universities. The company partners with such respected institutions as Vanderbilt University, University of Southern California (USC), Wake Forest University, Brandeis University, Case Western Reserve University, Boston University, The George Washington University, Pepperdine University, University of Florida and Northeastern University.

EmbanetCompass' success in raising student satisfaction and retention rates is based on a history of performance and innovation that provides academic partners with the stability and agility required to meet the growing global demand for online learning.

As college and universities continue to seek cost-effective and academically sound ways to extend their reach and improve student results, Pearson believes the number of students learning online will grow as will the number of institutions that will seek online services partners.
Currently, 2.5 million postsecondary students in the US participate in purely online programs and over 6 million take at least one online course.

With more than 22 million students enrolled in postsecondary institutions, Eduventures, the research firm, projects more than 11% annual online enrollment growth from 2010-2015.

The EmbanetCompass acquisition builds on and broadens Pearson's services capabilities and leadership in global higher education. Working in partnership with institutions such as Arizona State University, California State University Online (CSU Online), Ocean County College (New Jersey), and the community college systems in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Iowa and Colorado, Pearson is forging a new path as an innovator in online learning and comprehensive support services to higher education.

Founded in 1995, with locations in Chicago, Orlando, and Toronto, EmbanetCompass has 580 employees and is headed by Steve Fireng. He will stay on as CEO of EmbanetCompass and as a senior executive at Pearson.

"In the next five years, we expect nearly 4 million fully online learners will be in this market," said Steve Fireng, EmbanetCompass President and CEO. "By joining Pearson, the world's premier provider of educational content, programs, services and platforms, EmbanetCompass has a tremendous opportunity to strengthen our relationships with academic partners, expand programs and services at our current academic partners, and continue to expand into new exciting markets both domestically and around the globe."


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