The education publisher, Pearson today announced that it is buying Certiport, a developer, marketer and distributor of certification exams and practice tests for IT and digital literacy skills, for $140 million in cash from the private equity firm Spire Capital Partners. Certiport sells its certifications and assessments through a network of 12,000 testing centres operated by 70 partners in more than 150 countries. The network delivers approximately 225,000 examinations in 27 languages every month.
Rona Fairhead, chief executive of Pearson’s professional education businesses, said: “Certiport is a high-quality company serving the significant demand for foundation IT skills. That need is growing fast and is truly international. The combination of Pearson VUE and Certiport will strengthen both businesses and will give us a unique portfolio of technology assessments and certification, serving everyone from basic word-processing users to technology experts.”
Certiport generated revenues of $48m in 2011. It is a fast-growing company, increasing revenues at a compound annual rate of more than 20% over the past three years. Pearson will expense integration costs relating Certiport in 2012 and expects the acquisition to enhance adjusted earnings per share and to generate a return on invested capital above Pearson’s weighted average cost of capital from 2013, its first full year.