Home / News / British Council sells India IELTS business to IDP for £130 mn

IDP, a leading Australian education service firm with a sizable presence in India, will acquire British Council’s India IELTS business for £130 million.

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of the British Council is one of the popular English language tests world-over for study and migration. It is used by thousands of organizations including educational institutions to evaluate the English proficiency of a candidate.

IELTS is currently being administered in India by IDP and the British Council together. With the ownership change, IELTS tests in India will be delivered by IDP alone.

Distributing IELTS solely through IDP in India will simplify and improve the customer experience for test-takers, said Kate Ewart-Biggs, interim CEO of British Council.

“The proceeds of the sale will enable British Council to improve its financial position following the impact of covid-19 on our finances," Ewart-Biggs said.

“Under the terms of the agreement, IDP will acquire 100% of British Council’s India IELTS business for £130 million on a debt-free, cash-free basis. The terms also outline that British Council employees working on IELTS in India will become part of the IDP team," the organization said in a joint statement.

The transactions are expected to be closed by August. Andrew Barkla, chief executive of IDP said this agreement marks the start of a new chapter for IELTS in India. “IELTS’ 30-year history and global partnership model means it has globally-standardized quality and integrity processes already built into every center’s operations," said Barkla.

IDP is a global education services provider and is an Australian-listed company. British Council is the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. British Council has been present in India for 73 years.

India is a huge market for English testing and a source country of international students at many foreign universities.

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