Ownership Transaction

Pearson South Africa ("Pearson SA"), a BBBEE level 3 contributor, is pleased to announce a landmark empowerment deal with Sphere Holdings whereby Sphere acquired a 22.5% stake in Pearson SA.

Pearson SA is a South African subsidiary of Pearson PLC, the world’s leading provider of educational books and services. Sphere is an established black owned and managed investment holding company with a highly successful track record as an active long term investor in local and multinational companies providing critical infrastructure, and social and industrial goods and services to South and southern Africa.

Together with the Pearson Marang Education Trust’s 2.5% holding, the Sphere transaction raises Pearson SA’s black ownership level to 25%. Sphere CEO Itumeleng Kgaboesele and Sphere executive director Marang Denalane have joined the Pearson SA board.

Sphere Holdings was founded in 2003 and has a transformative business model that creates wealth that uplifts by putting real money back into the community with a focus on education – which is one of the reason we decided to partner with them. Since inception, about 14% of Sphere has been owned by four community charities with a focus on education (the shares were given to the charities) and Sphere’s leaders are personally and actively involved in their work.

The deal is also in line with Sphere’s goal of growing local business. Sphere is passionate about the partnerships it forms with its portfolio companies and actively engages in creating sustainable businesses alongside founders, co shareholders and management teams.

The education sector’s role as outlined in the New Development Plan (NDP) and its scope for sustained growth, the fact that Pearson SA is the clear market leader with unparalleled global and local expertise and a unique opportunity to fundamentally improve the customer/supplier dynamic with government are just some of the key reasons cited by Sphere for entering into the partnership with Pearson SA.

Overall the partnership between Pearson SA and Sphere Holdings is a promising one and represents an opportunity to boost the delivery of quality educational solutions to learners and improve their outcomes, thereby contributing to a brighter future and a more inclusive economy.