MBO enables The Translation People to improve global service
Language services provider (LSP) The Translation People has completed a management buy-out, enabling it to increase its investments in technology, people and acquisitions with an ambitious buy and build strategy.
The Translation People, established over 40 years ago, has experienced year-on-year growth since 2007 despite challenging market conditions in recent years. Of note, it completed the acquisition of Cicero Translations in 2018 and has developed its German and French operations – which now make up over 40% of group turnover.
The company, which has five offices across the UK as well as in Munich, Bonn, Paris and Boston, will now seek to invest further in automation technology to streamline translation processes and improve efficiency. It will also prioritise acquisitions in what is a ‘fragmented’ market to build a better range of services and expertise. The company’s ambition is to deliver significant growth within the next five years.
The MBO was supported by Mobeus, a private equity firm that was first introduced to The Translation People in 2018, when current MD Jasmin Schneider began to take on leadership of the company from vendors Stephen Wilde and David Nichols. As part of the transaction, Wilde and Nichols are stepping back from day-to-day involvement in the business but will continue supporting the buyout with a minority shareholding.
The business’ senior team will now be bolstered with the addition of Steve Dolton as Non-Exec Chair and Tom Grunwald as CFO. Dolton is a former serial PE-backed CFO who was instrumental to the success of the buy and build strategy for business services at Azzurri, while Grunwald is an experienced CFO in PE-backed businesses.
Schneider said: “The market for translation services is large and growing, but is fragmented, with 27,000 LSPs globally. With ever increasing language requirements due to the globalisation of business, the demand for high quality LSPs is increasing, and we are keen to play a leading role in that.
“Moving forwards with Mobeus, we aspire to be one of the largest LSPs in the UK and to continue to develop our European operations, investing in the industry’s best technologies and acquiring strategically to improve the service we offer to clients. Mobeus’ experience in assisting companies to grow organically and through acquisition will be of great help to us in the future and will also enable us to expand into new sectors.
“Mobeus has been extremely supportive of the management team throughout the buy-out process, and we have really enjoyed developing the strategy together. We’re looking ahead with complete confidence.”
Mobeus, with management, has already identified a number of potential acquisitions for The Translation People. Partner at the firm, Chris Price, said: “We are delighted to have backed Jasmin and her team at The Translation People. We have stayed close to the business since 2018 and are pleased to have been able to track its strong performance through COVID and the continued development of its EU operations. We’re excited to back a buy and build strategy in what is a highly disintermediated market.”