BIG Gets Bigger, Acquires US Healthcare Specialist ISI


2020-09-15 03:30 slator


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Big Language Solutions (BIG) has acquired healthcare and insurance specialist ISI Language Solutions. The transaction closed in early September 2020, Jeff Brink, CEO at BIG, told Slator. According to Brink, “It was a bit tricky closing a deal in the Covid environment, but everyone was committed to making it work. We conducted most of our due diligence via video conferencing and daily calls. However, our executive team did manage to travel for in-person meetings in LA back in early June.” ISI is based in Glendale, California, while BIG operates out of Atlanta, Georgia. Some 70 ISI staff will join the BIG and ProTranslating organizations, bringing the total headcount of the Group to 300 FTEs. As previously reported, Brink in tandem with PE firm MSouth set up BIG to “assemble a portfolio of high-performing and complementary language service providers,” of which ProTranslating (USD 25m in annual revenues) was the first. “We plan to invest heavily in technology and growth, and envision cross-sell opportunities with other BIG companies,” Brink said. While Brink declined to discuss purchase price, earnings multiple paid, or ISI’s revenues (estimated to be USD 15m per year), he said the language service provider (LSP) has “established a powerful brand” in the healthcare and insurance industries, and has gained “many delighted long-term clients.” Brink said, “Our independent research on ISI yielded a net promoter score of 90%, which is extremely high.” Brink heard about ISI via boutique advisory firm JSquare Conseil (which also advised on Acolad’s Telelingua and HL Trad deals); while ISI was advised by Nimdzi. Brink said the acquisition “fits nicely with our regulated-industry growth strategy.” In his June 2019 interview with Slator, Brink discussed their plan to focus on regulated sectors and other high-value content areas because “as we look long-term, the impact of NMT there will be less pervasive.” George Rimalower founded ISI in 1982. According to Brink, Rimalower “saw firsthand how bridging a language gap could turn a situation from unnecessarily confusing and scary to familiar and reassuring. The son of Holocaust survivors who fled Nazi Germany, George spent his first dozen years amidst the political and economic chaos of Argentina in the 1950s and ’60s.” Current ISI owners Emilie Villeneuve and Michael Bearden were long-term employees of the LSP before purchasing it from Rimalower in 2012. Villeneuve, who began as an assistant, stepped into the role of CEO, while Bearden, who started as a project manager, became President. “They bet on themselves, bought the business seven years ago from the founder, and achieved 300% growth,” Brink said. He added that ISI uses a mix of linguists — subject-matter experts, FTEs, freelancers, seasonal staff — languages technologies, and tools, adjusting to the nature and size of the account or quickly building bandwidth as needed by its clients. ISI’s being “extremely specialized” in HITRUST and ISO-certified language solutions, as Brink put it, and ability to comply with the regulatory requirements of highly regulated sectors for three decades will undoubtedly bolster BIG’s Life Sciences vertical. Asked if there was any significant client overlap between ISI (which counts a number of large US healthcare providers among its clients) and the rest of the Group, Brink replied that there was “not much overlap,” and “ISI’s offering is very complementary to BIG and ProTranslating.” He said ISI’s business comprises 85% document translation and 15% interpreting. “Although face-to-face interpreting is down, ISI’s overall business has actually grown during Covid-19. This was very appealing to us,” Brink added. On their plans to expedite integration into the Group by, for one thing, streamlining TMSs and translation productivity tools, Brink said, “ISI currently uses Plunet, Memsource and Trados. We will bring ISI onto BIG’s proprietary technology stack in 2021.” As the language industry continued to be attractive for investors through Covid — gauging by the more than two dozen M&A and Funding stories Slator covered over the past three months — we asked Brink if the coronavirus had any impact at all in terms of pricing expectations or even reduced dealmaking. He replied, “We decided not to ease off the accelerator from an investment and M&A perspective. It helps to be backed by such a great sponsor with deep pockets, like MSouth.” Brink added, “I believe the uncertain times have driven more LSP owners to contemplate a potential exit. Our seller-friendly model has attracted a lot of attention. We allow owners to take some risk or money off the table while continuing to run their business, and provide access to growth capital and BIG resources.”Brink feels the marketplace has shifted from a seller’s to a buyer’s market, in the wake of Covid-19 and he now sees “great deal flow and reduced competition in this environment.” So do BIG and MSouth still expect to close more transactions for the remainder of 2020? Brink replied, “Yes, we expect another announcement in late September and have the potential to close another deal yet this year.” Image: Jeff Brink, CEO, BIG Language Solutions
Big Language Solutions(Big)收购了医疗和保险专家ISI Language Solutions。BIG首席执行官Jeff Brink告诉Slator,交易于2020年9月上旬完成。 根据Brink的说法,“在新冠肺炎疫情大流行的环境下完成交易有点棘手,但每个人都致力于使之奏效。我们大部分的尽职调查通过视频会议和日常电话进行。然而,我们的管理团队设法在6月初前往洛杉矶参加了面对面的会议。“ ISI总部设在加利福尼亚州的格伦代尔,而BIG的业务范围则位于佐治亚州的亚特兰大。 ISI大约70名员工将加入BIG和ProTranslating组织,使该集团的总人数达到300名FTES。如先前报道,Brink与私募股权公司MSouth联手成立了BIG,以“组建一个高性能和互补性语言服务提供商的投资组合”,其中ProTranslating公司(年收入2500万美元)是第一家。 Brink说:“我们计划在技术和增长方面进行大量投资,并设想增加与其他BIG公司的交叉销售机会。” 尽管Brink拒绝讨论收购价格、收入倍数或ISI的收入(估计为每年1500万美元),但他表示语言服务提供商(LSP)已在医疗保健和保险行业“树立了强大的品牌”,并赢得了“许多满意的长期客户”。Brink说,“我们对ISI的独立研究得出了90%的净推广分数,这是非常高的。” Brink通过精品咨询公司JSquare Conseil(该公司也为Acolad的Telelingua和HL Trad交易提供咨询)得知ISI; Nimdzi给ISI提供建议。Brink表示此次收购“非常符合我们受监管行业的增长战略”。在2019年6月对Slator的采访中,Brink讨论了他们计划专注于受监管部门和其他高价值内容领域的计划,因为“从长期来看,NMT的影响将普遍减弱。” George Rimalower于1982年创立了ISI。根据Brink的说法,Rimalower“亲眼目睹如何将不必要的混乱和恐惧转变为熟悉和安心。”George是大屠杀幸存者的儿子,他逃离了纳粹德国。George在1950年代和60年代的阿根廷政治和经济混乱中度过了最初的十二年。” 当前的ISI所有者Emilie Villeneuve和Michael Bearden是LSP的长期雇员,之后于2012年从Rimalower购买了LSP。Villeneuve最初担任助理,后来担任首席执行官,而Bearden最初是项目经理,后来成为总裁。Bearden说:“他们把赌注押在自己身上,7年前从创始人手中收购这家企业,并实现了300%的增长。” 他补充说,ISI使用多种语言学家--主题专家、全职教师、自由职业者、季节性员工--语言技术和工具,以适应帐户的性质和规模,或根据客户的需要快速建立带宽。 正如Brink所说,ISI在HITRUST和ISO认证的语言解决方案方面“极其专业”,并且能够在三十年内遵守受到严格监管的部门的监管要求,无疑将促进BIG的生命科学垂直发展。 当被问及ISI(在其客户中有大量美国大型医疗保健提供者)与集团其他机构之间是否存在重大客户重叠时,“ISI的服务与BIG and ProTranslating非常互补,没有太大重叠。”,Brink回答说。 他说,ISI的业务包括85%的文件翻译和15%的口译。“虽然面对面的口译减少了,但ISI的整体业务在Covid-19期间实际上有所增长。这对我们很有吸引力,“布林克补充说。 Brink说,一方面,他们计划通过简化翻译管理系统和翻译效率工具来加快与集团的整合,“ISI目前使用Plunet,Memsource和Trados。我们将在2021年将ISI纳入BIG的专有技术堆栈。” 通过Slator在过去三个月中报道的二十多起并购和融资报道,语言行业对投资者仍有吸引力。我们询问Brink冠状病毒是否对价格预期产生影响,甚至减少交易达成。他回答说:“我们决定不会从投资和并购的角度放松加速步伐。得到像Msouth这样资金雄厚赞助商的支持很有帮助。” Brink补充说:“我相信不确定的时代已经驱使更多的LSP所有者考虑退出。我们这种便于销售的模式吸引了众多关注。我们允许所有者在继续经营业务的同时继承担一些风险或金钱,并为他们提供成长资本和BIG资源的访问权。” Brink认为,新冠肺炎疫情爆发后,市场由卖方市场转向买方市场,他现在看到”在这种环境下交易量大,竞争减少。“ 那么,BIG和MSouth仍然期望在2020年剩余时间内完成更多交易吗?Brink回答说:“是的,我们预计9月下旬会再次宣布,今年还有可能完成另一项交易。” 图片:Jeff Brink,BIG Language Solutions首席执行官