Test prep firms continue to be hot picks. Educomp Solutions, a publicly listed integrated education company, has picked up a majority stake in leading test preparation company Gateforum Educational Services Ltd. Gateforum, a Secunderabad headquartered firm, provides preparatory tools for Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (a test for post graduate courses in institutes like IITs and NITs).
The deal size was not disclosed but Educomp will have a board meeting next for a preferential allotment to shareholders of Gateforum Educational Services Pvt. Ltd.
Gateforum provides training through classroom, computer-based, distance learning programs, mock tests and has trained more than 15,500 students for GATE 2011. It currently has more than 40 centers across the country, which are a mix of owned and franchisees.
The deal is another acquisition by Educomp to tap the $1.7- billion test preparation market in India. It last year picked up stake in engineering test preparation player Vidya Mandir Classes (P) Ltd (VMC) through a mix of cash and equity. It also taps this market through Leap, a satellite based IIT JEE Coaching Institute.
Educomp has been getting big on the acquisition route for growth in new segments. It acquired education startup Studyplaces.com for $1.29 million early in 2010, Takshila Management Services Ltd. (a company specializing in setting up high quality schools in Tier II & Tier III cities), Euro Kids international Pvt. Ltd ( pre-school for kids), A-Plus Education Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (tutoring & test preparation) and Learning.com (test prep).