Database giant Infogroup has sold off its global market research arm ORC International to a group of the firm's senior managers, backed by Chicago-based private equity firm Lake Capital Management. Terms were not disclosed.
Founded in 1938, ORC International has offices across the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region from where it offers primary and secondary research, advisory services, social analytics, omnibus services and expertise across a range of industries.
The acquisition was led by CEO Marc Litvinoff (pictured) and the global leadership team, with the objective of accelerating the company's global growth.
'It has been a pleasure being a part of the Infogroup family for the past five years and we look forward to a continued business relationship with them,' Litvinoff said. 'Our new chapter with Lake Capital is a great fit for ORC International as it will give us the flexibility to invest in high-growth opportunities that will further enhance our existing research offerings to clients and expand our global footprint.'
Back in 2006, the firm (then known as Opinion Research Corporation) was acquired by Infogroup (formerly InfoUSA) for $134.3m. The following year the database giant bought business research and competitive analysis firm, Guideline in a $41.6m deal. The two firms were merged under the ORC International brand the following summer.
Last year, Infogroup was itself acquired by private equity firm CCMP Capital Advisors in a deal valued at $468m, since when the company has re-structured to 'focus on client needs'. As part of this restructure, the firm has recently begun a programme of staff redundancies across a number of its US offices, in a move to eliminate overlapping positions.
Infogroup President and CEO Clare Hart said that the sale of the research division will allow the group to concentrate its resources on core businesses including business and consumer data, customer list management and list brokerage services.
Hart thanked Litvinoff and the ORC International team for their 'hard work and dedication', which she said had placed the research company in an excellent position to focus on global expansion.
In preparation for the sale, over the past few months ORC International has formed an FDA and Regulatory Division, which is part of its International Healthcare and Pharmaceutical research division; launched a Data Solutions group, to help clients handle large amounts of complex research and administrative data; and also rolled out an employee survey product called engage, designed for small and mid-sized businesses.
In the UK, its London head office has just re-located from Angel, Islington to City Road.
Web sites: www.infogroup.com , www.orcinternational.com and www.orcinternational.co.uk .
All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.