June 24, 2009 / 7:28 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Pearson invests $30 mln in 2 Indian education firms

* Establishes joint venture with Educomp

* Buys 17.2 percent stake in TutorVista (Adds details)

June 24 (Reuters) - British publishing group Pearson (PSON.L) said on Wednesday it invested $30 million in two Indian education companies, Educomp Solutions (EDSO.BO) and TutorVista, to build its position in the country.

Pearson and Educomp have established a 50-50 joint venture to offer vocational and skills training in India.

As part of the agreement, Pearson will acquire a 50 percent ownership stake in Educomp’s existing vocational training business, it said.

Training would be delivered both online and through Educomp’s network of centres, using Pearson’s educational content, technology and related services, the Financial Times publisher added.

Pearson said it also acquired a 17.2 percent stake in online tutoring services firm TutorVista, making Pearson its largest shareholder.

The company said it plans to add TutorVista’s online tutoring to its range of services for students in North America, the UK and other parts of the world.

Pearson said it would also work with both TutorVista and its shareholder Manipal Education to develop new businesses for the Indian schools market.

Shares of the company were down about 1 percent to 609 pence at 0713 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Ramkumar in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan)

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