Australia’s Ai-Media Acquires Two US-based Captioning and Access Providers


On December 14, 2020, Australia-based captioning, transcription, and translation provider Ai-Media announced the acquisition of two US-based rivals, Caption IT and CaptionAccess, to expand its presence in the US. The acquisitions are expected to complete on January 4, 2021. 

Ai-Media paid USD 1.9m in total for the two companies, of which around USD 1.6m was in cash and ca. USD 0.3m, in Ai-Media shares. The company was advised by Atlas Technology Group on the transactions, which were funded by existing cash reserves.

In the run-up to its successful September 2020 IPO in Sydney, Ai-Media said it was forecasting 2020 revenues of AUD 43.8m (USD 33.0m). The company’s fiscal year ends in June, and Caption IT and CaptionAccess will begin to contribute revenues from January 1, 2021.

Combined revenues for Caption IT and CaptionAccess are projected to reach USD 2.2m in the 2020 calendar year, Ai-Media said. Both companies focus on providing live services to enterprise customers, and derive more than 95% of their revenues from live enterprise services.

Wisconsin-based Caption IT is closely aligned with the service offering of Ai-Media, providing captioning, transcription, and translation in real-time, offline, and in post-production settings. It also has a white label product for corporate customers.

Based in Illinois, US, CaptionAccess provides access services for the Deaf and hard of hearing. It services government as well as the corporate and education sectors. In Caption IT, Ai-Media gains access to a portfolio of corporate customers, while CaptionAccess has a complementary positioning in the education sector.

This is not Ai-Media’s first foray into the US market, which now accounts for around half of the company’s services revenues. In May 2020, shortly before its IPO, Ai-Media acquired US-based captioning and sign language interpreting provider ACS

The two latest acquisitions are designed to further strengthen Ai-Media’s presence in the US and are expected to have a “small positive impact on Ai-Media’s EBITDA and EPS [earnings per share] forecasts for FY201, before synergies,” the company said.

Ai-Media also highlighted its “solid pipeline of acquisition opportunities” and discussed the Covid-19 operating environment, saying that they have seen strong demand, particularly within “live enterprise where Covid-19 restrictions have accelerated the adoption of video as a key communication tool for business and the education sector.” 

Covid-19 is proving to be a “tailwind for our growth strategy,” Ai-Media added, pointing out that demand has not declined in locations where lockdowns and restrictions have eased.