RWS buys SDL to become new language services industry leader


2020-08-28 02:40 multilingual


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When two giants merge, an even bigger one is born — and the language services industry is currently witnessing the birth of its biggest giant ever. On August 27, 2020, the boards of RWS and SDL announced a deal that will see RWS buying SDL. In the UK’s largest tech deal of the year, RWS has agreed to pay GBP 809 million (USD 1.066 billion) to buy SDL. While there are still a few more regulatory steps that need to be taken, including official shareholder votes, the details of the deal have already been released. As it stands, RWS shareholders will own about two-thirds of the combined business, while SDL shareholders will own the remaining third. Over time, the SDL brand is set to disappear and the whole company will be placed under the RWS brand. What does this mean for the language services industry? MultiLingual spoke with industry experts at Nimdzi Insights to find out. “The acquisition that RWS and SDL just announced first of all means a shift in leadership for the industry,” says Sarah Hickey, Chief Researcher at Nimdzi Insights. “While RWS and SDL already ranked among the top five companies by revenue in the language industry, until now nobody has posed a significant threat to the leading position of TransPerfect, who’ve held the number one spot on Nimdzi’s ranking of industry leaders for the past three years in a row.” Hickey adds that, “If we look at their revenues as listed in the Nimdzi 100 ranking in March 2020, RWS and SDL now outperform TransPerfect by almost USD 170 million and we can expect them to break the USD one billion mark this year. Their combined annual revenue for FY2019 was USD 934.1 million.” “The acquisition also means that for the first time in the history of the language services industry, a company from the United Kingdom will be leading the market. Until now, the top three spots in Nimdzi’s ranking were held by companies headquartered in the United States.” Especially given how soon this has come after Brexit and the fact that it’s happening during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Hickey believes this could indicate that the UK market is still going strong. According to Renato Beninatto, language industry veteran and CEO of Nimdzi Insights, “The merger will likely accelerate other deals in the industry. Companies to watch are Lionbridge, Welocalize, Semantix, LanguageWire, and Keywords. As with major mergers that have happened in the past, mergers at the top create new opportunities for players downstream.” As to prove his point, the latest acquisition announcement rolled in just a few hours later — coming once again from Europe. Dublin-headquartered game localization leader Keywords Studios (KWS.L) has just announced the acquisition of London-based creative marketing agency Maverick Media. The deal is worth up to GBP 3.6 million (USD 4.7 million) and is one of a number of acquisitions Keywords Studios has completed in recent months. “Keywords Studios is listed on the London stock exchange. Considering their recent M&A activity in combination with the latest RWS and SDL deal, it shows that there’s a lot happening on the UK market right now,” concludes Hickey.
当两家巨头合并时,一个更大的巨头就诞生了——目前语言服务行业正见证着有史以来最大的巨头的诞生。 2020年8月27号,RWS和SDL的董事会宣布了一项交易,即RWS将收购SDL。RWS同意支付8.09亿英镑(10.66亿美元)收购SDL,这是英国今年最大的科技交易。尽管还需要采取更多的监管措施,包括正式的股东投票,但交易的细节已经公布。 目前,合并后业务的三分之二将归RWS股东所有,剩余的三分之一则归SDL股东所有。随着时间的推移,SDL品牌将消失,整个公司将被归入RWS品牌之下。 这对语言服务行业意味着什么?Nimdzi Insights的多语种行业专家对此进行了调查。 Nimdzi Insights的首席研究员Sarah Hickey说:“RWS宣布收购SDL,首先这意味着行业领导地位的转变。”“虽然在语言行业,RWS和SDL都已经跻身收入排名前五的公司行列,但到目前为止,还没有人能对完美翻译公司(TransPerfect)的领先地位构成重大威胁,TransPerfect在Nimdzi的行业领导者排名中连续三年蝉联第一。” Hickey补充道:“如果我们看看2020年3月Nimdzi排名中前100的收入,就会发现RWS和SDL现在的收入比TransPerfect高出近1.7亿美元,可以预期它们今年的收入将突破10亿美元大关。他们2019财年的年收入加起来为9.341亿美元。“ “这次收购还意味着,在语言服务行业的历史上,一家来自英国的公司将首次领导市场。到目前为止,Nimdzi排名中的前三名公司总部都设在美国。“尤其是考虑到英国退欧后这么快就出现了这种情况,而且这种情况又发生在COVID-19大流行期间,希基(Hickey)认为这可能表明英国市场仍然强劲。 据Nimdzi Insights公司首席执行官、语言行业资深人士雷纳托·贝尼纳托说:“这次合并可能会加速该行业的其他交易。值得关注的公司包括Lionbridge,Welocalize,Semantix,LanguageWire和Keywords。就像过去的大型公司合并一样,高层企业合并为下游企业创造了新的机会。“ 为了证明他的观点,几个小时后,欧洲又一次发布了最新的收购公告。总部位于都柏林的游戏本地化领导者Keywords Studios(KWS.L)刚刚宣布收购总部位于伦敦的创意营销机构Maverick Media。这笔交易价值高达360万英镑(合470万美元),是Keywords Studios近几个月完成的一系列收购之一。 “Keywords Studios公司在伦敦证券交易所上市。他们最近的并购活动再加上最近RWS和SDL交易,这表明英国市场如今正发生很多转变,“Hickey总结道。