Pearson Acquires EmbanetCompass

Pearson Acquires EmbanetCompass

NEW YORK, N.Y., Oct. 16, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via PRWEB - 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

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."

The transaction is subject to a Hart-Scott-Rodino review.

For more information

Luke Swanson / Simon Mays-Smith / Charles Goldsmith +44 (0)207 010 2310

Wendy Spiegel/Susan Aspey 800 745 8489

About Pearson

Pearson is the world's leading learning company. Its major businesses are:
Pearson, the global leader in education, providing print and digital learning
materials and services used by millions of students of all ages every year;
The Financial Times Group, which has an international network of business and
financial newspapers and online services that are read by millions of business
executives and investors every day; and Penguin Group, which is one of the
pre-eminent names in consumer publishing, with an unrivalled range of fiction
and non-fiction, bestsellers, and classic titles. Through its books,
newspapers and online products and services, Pearson helps people of all ages
to live and learn. See

About EmbanetCompass

EmbanetCompass is the largest provider of technology-enabled services to
traditional non-profit postsecondary educational institutions seeking to
launch online degree programs across degree levels and disciplines. Its
comprehensive outsourced solution includes all of the services necessary to
develop an online program, including program strategy, design and development,
academic services, marketing and student recruitment, program and student
services, and technology services. Academic partners retain complete control
over admissions decisions, instruction and financial aid, and confer all
degrees. EmbanetCompass's top priority in partnering with an institution is to
offer the highest quality services to protect and enhance the academic
partner's brand and reputation. See

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CONTACT: Pearson
         Luke Swanson
         +44 (0)207 010 2310
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