Apostroph Group Tucks in Boutique Language Service Provider in Switzerland

Apostroph Acquires Gehring Communications

On January 19, 2022, Germany-headquartered Apostroph Group announced the acquisition of Marco Gehring Communications SA, a boutique language service provider (LSP) based in Switzerland.

Marco Gehring Communications takes its name from the company’s CEO, Marco Gehring, who founded the company in 1986. The transaction closed on December 15, 2021.

Philipp Meier, Group CEO of Apostroph Group, told Slator that Gehring approached Apostroph to discuss his succession plans, which ultimately led to the sale. Meier said there was no previous business relationship between the two companies.

Meier declined to share any transaction details (e.g., purchase price and valuation), but said that the deal will see Marco Gehring’s eight full-time equivalents (FTEs) — mainly linguists working in Italian — join Apostroph’s Switzerland team.

Gehring, who was the sole owner of Marco Gehring prior to its sale, will also stay on board as a linguist, owning key client relationships. The company will be integrated under Apostroph Switzerland in the next six to nine months, Meier said.

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As part of the integration, Marco Gehring will be moved onto the Apostroph Order Management System (APOS). The company’s clients will gain access to Apostroph’s additional services and connectors, as well as its customer order platform, myApostroph.

Apostroph, which has a strong presence in the Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (DACH) region, employed 160 people (around 130 FTEs) as of January 1, 2022, Meier said. The company generated annual revenues of EUR 28.7m (USD 35.1m) in 2020, growing around 15% from 2019.

“Beside the organic growth, a main driver for Apostroph is still through the add-ons,” Meier told Slator. Acquisitions have traditionally focused on strengthening Apostoph’s DACH footprint.

For example, Apostroph acquired Swiss-based companies USG (January 2020) and Global Translations (Autumn 2020). In Switzerland, Apostroph Group already has offices in Bern, Lausanne, Lucerne, and Zurich, while Marco Gehring adds a location in Mendrisio, in Italian-speaking Switzerland.

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Discussing the rationale behind Apostroph’s latest acquisition, Meier explained that the company’s “strong client base and long-term relationship to several clients in Switzerland” were key factors, along with the LSP’s “excellent reputation in the market and highly qualified employees.” Marco Gehring’s customer base includes Swiss SMEs, retailers, and global conglomerates.

Coneos Investment GmbH supported the M&A process, EY provided financial and tax due diligence, and Rappold Köhli Rechtsanwälte AG provided legal support.