Grupo Multi generated a profit of almost USD 69 million in 2012. This makes English language teaching a good candidate to profit from the growing market, especially since interest in English learning is likely to rise as a consequence of the impending World Cup and the Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, as well as result of Brazil’s consolidation as a strong country with an internationally competing industry. Education is currently one of the country’s most profitable sectors.
Grupo Multi was first created in 1987 by Carlos Wizard Martins. The family had owned the company entirely until they sold 20 per cent of it to Kinea, an arm of the Itaú bank, in 2010. In 2012, Grupo Multi’s sales grew by almost 90 per cent compared to the sales of the previous year, and the recent deal with Pearson will greatly benefit the Martins family, who still owned 78 per cent of the company.
Pearson’s Investments in Brazil
Grupo Multi institutions target adults, mainly, and have around 800,000 students around the country. Pearson also owns the learning systems arm of Sistema Educacional Brasileiro, which they bought in 2010. These services are targeted at primary and secondary students instead. Pearson also owns 45 per cent of the Brazilian company Companhia das Letras, a publisher founded in 1986. The investments are all concentrated in the fourth largest English language market in the world.
Concerns about the Decision
Some analysts have expressed their concern regarding Pearson’s decision, especially because they deem the Latin American situation somewhat unstable, with a possible decrease in the rate of economic growth and the potential upsurge of leftist or centre-left governments. Brazil’s situation has been fluctuating as well, with its currency devaluating by one third against sterling since June 2010.