Language industry acquisition feeding frenzy accelerates Language industry acquisition feeding frenzy accelerates
Jul 30


In a hectic month of deal making, three prominent network members of the European Union of Associations of Translation Companies (EUATC) were bought by larger enterprises.

In the UK, language technology giant SDL snapped up the business and assets of Donnelley Language Solutions (DLS) from Donnelley Financial Solutions, a member of EUATC founding members the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), while The Hut Group (THG) has acquired another ATC member, Language Connect.

The SDL deal is reported to be worth €66.4m ($77.5m), while the terms of the THG acquisition have not been made public.

SDL said the addition of DLS will "accelerate" its premium solutions strategy, with DSL operating in the group's "premium sectors" of financial services and life sciences. Adolfo Hernandez, chief executive of SDL, said: "The acquisition of DLS is aligned with SDL's strategy of focusing on 'premium' industries and regulated content.

"The combination of our businesses will strengthen SDL's market position in financial services and life sciences, which on a combined basis, account for approximately 30 per cent of the language services market.

"Together, we will be able to develop more differentiated industry-focused solutions by leveraging DLS' specialist services expertise and SDL's technologies. In addition, DLS brings us further skills and industry presence in Asian markets."

To support the transaction, SDL has proposed the placing of up to 8.2 million new ordinary shares of 1p each to raise gross proceeds of £36.2m (€46.6m /$47.5m).

Meanwhile, Technicis, with headquarters in Paris snapped up Telelingua, a founding member of Belgian Quality Translation Association (BQT) and Chambre Nationale des Entreprises de Traduction (CNET) member HL Trad. The deals were secured within a fortnight of each other.

The Technicis Group are aggressively pursuing an expansion strategy and has now made seven acquisitions since 2012. It now employs more than 700 staff around the world and has a bolstered international presence, with offices in Europe (France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Finland, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic), North America (Canada and the United States) and Asia (China). The group is aiming to achieve turnover of €100 million ($116m) in 2018.

The strategy behind The Hut Group purchase is to add an agile in-house language capability for the group’s expanding e-commerce company, THG Ingenuity.  It currently provides localized content in 35 languages for its technology platform that sells a wide portfolio of health and beauty brands.Bringing Language Connect on-board is likely tool up the platform to expand the number of languages it can provide.Language Connect reported revenues of €9.4m ($11m) in the fiscal year ending September 2017 – an increase of 18.3% from the previous year.