2 large acquisitions on the translation market in 2020


Very interesting acquisitions in the translation industry took place in 2020. Large corporations focused on market consolidation and the purchase of well-known translation agencies. Despite the coronavirus pandemic and a slowdown in the development of the translation market, this did not hinder the success of the negotiations.

RWS buys SDL

The board of RWS announced that it had completed its acquisition of SDL on November 4, 2020. This is one of the biggest mergers of this year in the UK and the biggest acquisition in the translation market all over the world.  RWS bought SDL for $1.066 billion and this amount surely makes an impression. The shareholders of RWS will hold 70.5% in the merged company and the balance will be kept by SDL investors. The top management of SDL has dropped out, the directors of RWS will continue managing the company.  There is the plan that the SDL brand will disappear and all their solutions will be branded as RWS. 

This deal takes RWS into a new area because now they will become the most popular technology provider in the translation market This merger will make RWS the biggest language and tech company in the translation market all over the world. Their combined annual income for 2019 was $934.1 million and currently, they expect to have more than 1 billion in revenue, despite the coronavirus situation. 

Acolad and Amplexor

The intention to merge Acolad and Amplexor was announced on September 20, 2020. The Acolad Group is to take over the Luxembourg competitor AMPLEXOR International. The transaction will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020. Acolad and Amplexor are expected to strengthen their presence and improve their technological and commercial offerings to create a leading global provider of language services. The Group undertakes not to disclose the financial details of the transaction.

In addition to geographical complementarity, with leading positions in the United States, Europe and Asia, Amplexor will enrich the Group with a comprehensive portfolio of content management and digital experience solutions, reinforcing Acolad's broad presence and cross-selling capabilities.

Together, Amplexor and Acolad have many years of experience in providing language services and content for a variety of industries, including life sciences, manufacturing, and the public sector. After the transaction is confirmed, the group will exceed the symbolic threshold of 2,000 employees and achieve a total turnover of over 270 million euros in 2019.

To sum up, despite the current pandemic, the translation market has not remained in stagnation and large companies are looking to consolidate themselves in order to increase their offer and, consequently, their revenues. 

Patrick Repetski