(Reuters) – U.S. investment firm Apollo dropped its bid for Britain’s Pearson on Wednesday after the two sides failed to agree on price, sending the London-listed education company’s shares down 12%.

Pearson revealed earlier this month that it had rejected two takeover approaches from Apollo, saying that the higher bid of $8.5 billion had undervalued the group. The news sent shares in Pearson up 22% on the day.

The second proposal valued Pearson at 854.2 pence. Its shares were trading at 695 pence at 0950 GMT on Wednesday.

The rejection of the takeover offer, after Pearson spent seven years navigating the difficult switch from traditional learning to online, will put the spotlight on boss Andy Bird, and whether his new strategy to expand the group’s focus can work.

Bird has lately sharpened Pearson’s focus to sell directly to consumers and not just schools, colleges or shops, while also expanding into the workforce training sector with recent acquisitions.

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