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20 December 2012 | Education | Tribal Group plc

Tribal Group acquires International Graduate Insight Group

Tribal Group has announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire the entire issued share capital of the International Graduate Insight Group Limited ("i-graduate").

i-graduate is an education benchmarking and student experience research business. The acquisition is expected to complete on 2 January 2013.

i-graduate is an independent benchmarking and analytics group, working in partnership with institutions and education organisations to provide evidence-based information on education experience and outcomes across higher education, further education and schools markets. The business works with over 1,200 education institutions in 24 countries, receiving and analysing feedback from more than 1.3 million students of over 190 nationalities.

The total consideration for i-graduate on a debt-free/cash-free basis will be up to a maximum of £7.5m, subject to satisfaction of earn-out criteria based on incremental earnings over the 3 year period ending 31 December 2015. An initial amount of £2.86m is payable on completion. All consideration payments will be satisfied in cash from the group's existing cash resources. The company expects the acquisition to be enhancing in its first full year.

i-graduate was founded in 2005 by Will and Lindsay Archer. Will Archer will continue to lead the i-graduate business and will head up the integration of i-graduate's offerings with Tribal's existing financial benchmarking and analytic capabilities.

The unaudited profit before tax of International Graduate Insight Group Limited for the year ended 31 March 2012 was £423k and the value of gross assets at that time was £1.8m.

Tribal's Chief Executive Officer, Keith Evans, commented: "Our strategic priority is to provide our customers with evidence based systems and solutions that will support the on-going improvement of educational outcomes. Quantitative and qualitative technology based benchmarking and analytics is a cornerstone of the evidence base. This acquisition will enable us to strengthen our capabilities in this exciting and emerging area, expands our product offering to our existing customers and provides increased access for our existing products to the i-graduate customer base, both in the UK and in our targeted international markets."

The company took the opportunity to update the market on its current trading performance up to the end of November which it says has been robust and continues to generate good cash flow. ​

Comment:

The acquisition positions Tribal in the expanding education data analytics market at what appears to be a sensible entry price of 8.9x i-graduate's post-tax profits. Whilst additional consideration of close to £5m will be payable over the next three years this will be dependent on the growth of i-graduate's business. ​

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