Pearson stakes N2b in Longman Plc
By Roseline Okere
PEARSON Plc, a global leader in providing education solutions, has invested over N2 billion to acquire 51 per cent equity shares in Longman Nigeria Plc.
According to the Chairman of the company, Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere, the shareholders of Longman authorised the directors to issue 80,750,000 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N25 per share by way of a special placing to Longman Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pearson Plc.
Speaking during the completion board meeting recently in Lagos, Ojewere said that the money would be invested in publishing, sales and marketing development, IT development, improvement of infrastructure, and working capital.
He disclosed that Pearson's unparalleled businesses and brands included Prentice Hall, Longman, Scott Foresman, Addison Wesley, Allyn & Bacon, Benjamin Cummings, PA series, Celebration Press, PEM Solutions, Success Maker, Waterford and Family Education Network.
He added that Pearson's other primary operations included the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group and also provided a range of related services such as testing and learning software for students of all ages, data for financial institutions, public information systems for government departments.
He said: "Pearson is listed on the London and New Stock Exchange and in 2007 had sales of more than $3 billion in North America and $1.9 billion in other parts of the world."
Speaking also at the event, the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Daniel Obidiegwu stated that the company would continue to improve on its core business of providing instructional materials to the primary, secondary and tertiary educational sector and the reading public in Nigeria.
He disclosed that the company was at the vanguard of providing assistance to the Federal Government's Universal Basic Education Programme through the provision of relevant materials that were adequate and in consonance with the new UBE curricula.
Obidiegwu said that Longman decided to release 51 per cent shares of the company to Pearson due to its willingness to improve on its technological know-how.
He said: "I believe this new development would take our company to a greater height because we will be able to invest heavily on machinery that will enable us serve our customers better."