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Tribal Group buys i-graduate for £7.5m

I-graduate, the market research firm most famous for its surveys on international student experience, has been sold to the major education company Tribal Group plc for up to £7.5million, subject to satisfaction of earn-out criteria. Tribal, which operates in five continents, said the acquisition would boost its data offering to customers in the education sector.

i_graduate

i-graduate works with over 1,200 education institutions in 24 countries

Founded in 2005 by Will and Lindsay Archer, i-graduate has come to prominence thanks to surveys such as the ICEF Agent Barometer, in which it polls agents around the world about international student decision making.

“Joining forces with Tribal will enhance the support we provide to educators worldwide”

The business works with more than 1,200 education institutions in 24 countries. It also owns the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education, a research firm focused on global education.

Will Archer, who will continue to lead i-graduate as CEO, said the sale would strengthen the company.

“Our work with educators around the world has reached a scale and a significance that requires an advanced level of technical skills, platforms and support,” he said.

Will Archer says the deal will mean i-graduate’s work will accelerate in “technical development, scope, scale and support”

“Joining forces with Tribal will accelerate the development of our services and will enhance the support we provide to educators worldwide. It will help i-graduate to maintain and advance the market-leading global position that it has established; delivering world class insights to world class institutions.”

Tribal Group, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange at a value of US $150 million, does most of its work with the British public sector, providing technology based services for universities, hospitals and government agencies among others.

It is rumoured to have entered buyout talks with i-graduate in 2011, after its share price collapsed following the announcement of government spending cuts.

Tribal’s chief executive officer, Keith Evans, said: “Our strategic priority is to provide our customers with evidence-based systems and solutions that will support the ongoing improvement of educational outcomes.

“This acquisition will enable us to strengthen our capabilities in this exciting and emerging area.”

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