Carlyle in $92m language school exit

The Carlyle Group has sold Wall Street Institute, a chain of English language training centers, to education and information company Pearson.

The Carlyle Group has sold Wall Street Institute, a chain of English language training centers, to Pearson for $92 million in cash.

The 38 year-old adult language school was purchased for an undisclosed amount in February 2005 by Carlyle Venture Capital II, a $60 million growth fund capital fund. Carlyle brought Citi into the deal as a minority investor after closing the deal. WSI earned revenues of $60 million in 2009 and currently has roughly 340 learning centres throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. Its major markets include France, Italy, Turkey, Chile, Venezuela, Columbia, Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan.

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Pearson said in a statement it expects the acquisition to be earnings neutral in 2011, and to generate a return above its cost of capital from 2012. The education and information company plans to retain the WSI brand and invest in new centres in both existing and new markets.

The deal marks the reunion of WSI and Wall Street English, the Chinese subsidiary of WSI that Carlyle sold to Pearson for $145 million in cash last April. The combined business will be led by David Kedwards, currently chief executive officer of Wall Street English.

At the time of Carlyle’s sale of WSE, managing director Brooke Colburn said WSI had “grown revenue three-fold”.