Chicago-based eCollege said the deal is worth $538 million all told, including $41 million from the separate sale of its enrollment division to an investor group led by Oakleigh Thorne, eCollege's chairman and CEO.
eCollege said the deal gives shareholders a 28% premium to the average closing share price during the previous 90 trading days.
"We believe this transaction presents an excellent opportunity to fulfill our commitment to maximize value for eCollege stockholders," said Thorne. "We also believe Pearson will provide an excellent home for our employees and customers and a strong vehicle for growth going forward."
Shares rose 99 cents to $21.96.