Market Update (Aug 06): Big Mergers

July saw confirmation of two large mergers in the world of e-learning and IT training. We take a look.

InterQuad and QA

First was the merger of QA and InterQuad. To put this merger into context the top 5 IT training providers in the UK last year were as follows:

Company UK Turnover £ms

QA £27.1
InterQuad Learning £26.6
Learning Tree International £23.6
Parity Training £22.5
IBM Education Services £19.0

Thus the combined new entity will have a turnover in excess of £50m. The press release claims “the combination of InterQuad and QA creates Europe’s largest, most innovative and dynamic company to meet the extensive learning and development needs of public and private sector organisations.”

Christian Martin, Chairman of QA InterQuad Group, commented: "InterQuad has experienced phenomenal growth during the last three years and this acquisition drives forward our strategic intent to continue our efforts to address the UK skills crisis through the expansion of our offering to support the full range of learning needs of organisations today.”

NIIT and Element K

Another US acquisition for NIIT, this time the well respected Element K.

NIIT has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Element K,and the transaction is expected to close in July.

Element K' has a turnover of over $80 million. Its learning solutions business includes its technology Knowledge Hub, and an award-winning suite of more than 3,500 courses. Its learning solutions are enhanced through custom content development and strategic learning services, to address specific business challenges.

Together, NIIT and Element K will emerge as the leading global provider of learning solutions, with more than 3,000 employees, over $250 million in revenue and a presence in 32 countries.

Vijay Thadani, CEO of the NIIT commented "Element K has an established base of highly satisfied clients in the United States and Canada, and a well respected brand in the training industry. They are moving successfully into the North American Learning BPO market place, and will benefit from NIIT's global presence and complementary learning services"