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Business & Economy

eQuality Solutions Group on growth trail again with deal for The Educational Guidance Service

A disability, diversity and inclusion firm has expanded with a seven-figure takeover.

Hebburn-headquartered eQuality Solutions Group (eQS) has bought psychology support organisation The Educational Guidance Service (EGS).

The deal marks eQS’ third acquisition in just ten months, with bosses saying the business is on track to achieve its target of £30 million turnover by 2023.

They say Halifax-based EGS will add complementary capability to the group’s disability services division, which provides specialist assistive technology equipment, software, training and mentoring in the education, workplace and government sectors.

Founded more than 20 years ago, EGS employs more than 40 people as one of the largest providers of educational and occupational psychologists working with children, young people and adults who are experiencing specific learning difficulties and social/emotional barriers within educational settings and the workplace.

eQS officials say its addition will see revenues exceed £15 million, adding it takes its total employee headcount to around 80, in addition to 350 freelance psychologists, consultants, trainers and delivery engineers across the UK.

Andy Gough, eQS chief executive, said: “The past couple of years have not only seen a global health crisis but also an awakening regarding inclusion and acceptance of individuals identifying with a cognitive disability.

“This has created an even bigger demand for cognitive disability assessments within both the educational and workplace settings.

“EGS is a leader in this market and quickly became our top choice for our next acquisition due to its capability and outstanding reputation.”

Alex Griffiths, EGS founder, added: “I have had many organisations interested in acquiring EGS over the last couple of years but eQS was the only acquirer I seriously considered.

“The eQS team stood out as down to earth people who understood what we were about and demonstrated a clear passion for looking after the EGS brand and developing it in the ‘EGS way’.”

EGS’ senior management team, led by managing director Karen Jones and operations director Jane Goldthorpe, will continue to run the day-to-day operations following the completion of the acquisition.

Advising eQS on the deal were corporate financiers Carl Swansbury, Rhiannon Nightingale, Connor McBride and Ben Kain, of Newcastle-based RG Corporate Finance (RGCF), with financial and tax due diligence delivered by Grahame Maughan and Simon Whiteside, of RG.

Legal advice was provided by corporate partner Tom Pollard and corporate solicitor Liam Stubbs, of Ward Hadaway LLP.

eQS secured £20 million funding from Shard Credit Partners in December 2020 to fuel acquisitions.

In January, it confirmed its first deal, for South West-based Amano. It then acquired London-based EW Group in June 2021.

Advising Alex on the sale of EGS was Fabio Rambelli, of KBS.  Legal advice was provided by Jai Singh, of Alston Asquith.