British media group Pearson Plc has completed the acquisition of Bangalore-based education-cum-consumer internet services firm TutorVista Global Pvt Ltd by buying out the remaining 20 per cent stake, the company said in a statement. The consolidation is expected to help TutorVista become a leading technology-enabled education services company.
In January 2011, Pearson Plc had increased its stake to 76 per cent for $127 million (Rs 577 crore) in TutorVista. During the same year, it increased its stake to 80 per cent. The 2011 deal had also marked an exit for TutorVista’s venture investors Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed and strategic investor Manipal Education and Medical Group.
Pearson had picked up around a 17 per cent stake in TutorVista in June 2009 and with the initial 2011 deal, it invested a total of around $139 million (Rs 622 crore) in the firm.
TutorVista was founded in 2005 by Krishnan Ganesh and his wife Meena Ganesh as an online tutoring firm and has since then expanded its presence across the value chain. It provides digital content and technology platforms to private and government schools under long term contracts. It presently serves 35 schools. The company has 1,300 employees across online tutoring, school management, internet and communication technologies and test preparation and tuition.
The husband-wife duo had so far managed TutorVista’s domestic operations. But with this consolidation, Pearson has appointed Srikanth B. Iyer as the new chief executive officer.
In the past, TutorVista has also expanded aggressively through inorganic route in various verticals.
A few years ago, TutorVista acquired Edurite Technologies to foray into digital class rooms and other e-learning solutions. It is now the second largest player in this market after Educomp. Edurite also teamed up with Manipal Education to enter the K-12 school segment, and uses the Manipal brand to own and manage schools spread across Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Mangalore, Gurgaon and Nepal currently.
Similarly, it took over Tandem, a network of tutorial centres in Kerala, to develop a chain of tutorials that are technology enabled and not centered around one star teacher.
The education services space witnessed 38 PE/VC deals worth $142 million in 2012, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle. In the test preparation space too there have been significant acquisitions. Last year, MT Educare Ltd struck a deal to acquire a majority stake in Patiala-based Lakshya Forum For Competitions Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed amount. Lakshya Forum provides coaching for engineering and medical entrance tests.
In 2011, PE-backed CL Educate (formerly known as Career Launcher) acquired test preparation materials publisher GK Publications.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)