Since November, Pearson has rejected two unsolicited takeover offers from the Apollo Global Management equity firm, the educational publisher said in an announcement issued on Friday.
The first proposal was made on November 5, and was offering to pay 800 pence per share to acquire the company. The offered was rejected by the board, which said the bid "significantly undervalued the company and its future prospects."
Apollo made a slightly better "preliminary and highly conditional proposal" on March 7, for a possible cash offer valued at 854.2 pence per share. Once again, the board rejected the offer as "significantly undervalued."
In its statement, the Pearson board said that it is confident that the strategy it set out in March 2021 for the long-term growth of the company is viable, adding that the results for 2021—in which sales increased 1% over 2020, to £3.43 billion, and adjusted operating increase rose 3%, to £385 million—demonstrate that Pearson has the right strategic vision. The company's long-term goal, it added, is to achieve mid-single digit revenue compound annual growth rates from 2022 to 2025, and for profit margins to remain relatively stable in the near term "as we invest to drive growth," which the company hopes will improve margins by 2025, to the mid-teens.
Pearson said that Apollo is required, by no later than April 8, to either announce a firm intention to make an offer for Pearson or to announce that it does not intend to make an offer for the company. The deadline can be extended.