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By Udo Hohlfeld

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infoGROUP has announced that it is to sell Macro International Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary providing governmental social research. Macro International was part of the 2006 acquisition of Opinion Research Corporation, and provides solutions to US federal government agencies including the Department of Health & Human Services and the Departments of State, Education, and Veterans' Affairs. Founded in 1966, it was acquired by Opinion Research Corporation in 1999. In 2008 it had revenues of c $150 million. The business is expected to be sold to ICF International for approx. US $155 million. It is expected that the deal will be closed in the next few days. infoGROUP justifies this sale with its strategy of growing organically in its core business, saying that Macro International is not a strategic fit, in contrast to Opinion Research Corporation. But trimming its services portfolio might not be enough to achieve growth. Only in February 2009, Opinion Research Corporation announced that it would be closing its Tucson office in the USA by the end of this month following the loss of a number of client contracts. So the question arises of whether the sale of Macro International has more reasons than stated. Nevertheless, with the sale infoGROUP can strengthen its balance sheet by reducing some of its debts. ICF International, founded 1969, has more than 3,000 employees and reported gross revenues of US $697 million as of 2008. The company provides consulting services and technology solutions to government and commercial clients, in the areas of energy, climate change, environment, transportation, social programmes, health, defence and emergency management. Resources: infoGROUP: http://www.infogroup.com ICF International: http://www.icfi.com

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