Apollo backs out of takeover bid from Pearson education group

March 30 (Reuters) – Education group Pearson (PSON.L) said on Wednesday it had rejected a third takeover bid by Apollo, valuing it at 6.7 billion pounds ($8.8 billion). dollars), prompting the US investment firm to pull out and send its shares down 12%.

Pearson revealed earlier this month that it had rejected two takeover approaches from Apollo, sending its shares up 22% on the day. Read more

The second offer valued each Pearson share at 854.2 pence while the third offer stood at 884.2 pence. Pearson shares traded at 697 pence at 09:50 GMT on Wednesday.

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“Pearson’s board of directors has reviewed the third proposal, with its financial and legal advisors, and has concluded that it materially undervalues ​​the company and its future prospects,” it said in a statement. .

“As a result, the Pearson Board of Directors unanimously rejected the third proposal.”

Pearson’s decision to reject a takeover, after spending seven years navigating the difficult transition from traditional learning to online learning, will put even greater stress on boss Andy Bird and the ability to his new strategy to work.

Bird has recently reinforced Pearson’s focus on selling directly to consumers and not just to schools, colleges or stores, while also expanding into the workforce training business with recent acquisitions.

The company recently set medium-term goals for the first time in six years, saying it has turned a corner after industry changes hit its once-thriving higher education courseware business in the United States. , leading to a series of profit warnings. ($1 = 0.7605 pounds)

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Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru and Kate Holton in London; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, William James and Keith Weir

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Helen D. Jessen