Canadian LSP difuze Acquires Accessibility Division of Blackstone Sight and Sound

Canadian LSP difuze Acquires Accessibility Division of Blackstone Sight and Sound

Canadian language services provider (LSP) difuze has expanded its accessibilities offerings yet again with a recent acquisition — this time, of Toronto-based Blackstone Sight and Sound’s media accessibility division. The deal closed on May 31, 2024.

Blackstone offers a number of media localization services, including translation, dubbing, and versioning. The company has adapted content into French, Portuguese, Mandarin, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Inuit languages.

difuze acquired just Blackstone’s media accessibility division, which specializes in closed captioning and audio description, and not the entire company. difuze plans to fully integrate this division under the difuze brand.

Nicolas Savoie, difuze’s VP of Business Development, told Slator that Blackstone, a supplier of accessibility services, came onto difuze’s radar after difuze acquired audio description specialist SpeakEasyDV in 2021. 

“As part of an effort to expand our offering to Ontario, Canada’s largest media market, the opportunity to join forces with Blackstone made sense with difuze’s development plan,” Savoie said. difuze declined to share the financial details of the deal.

Savoie added that difuze’s long-term goal is to become the leading provider of media localization and accessibility services in Canada.

“By adding new blood as well as a handful of new clients, we solidify our position in the all-important English-Canada market while gaining increased capacity and expertise,” he said, adding that one Blackstone employee, whom he declined to name, will join difuze’s team of 260.

In a June 2024 press release announcing the acquisition, difuze noted that the deal — difuze’s seventh since its founding in 2018 — followed “years of collaboration with Blackstone.”

It also comes less than a year after difuze acquired WANTED!, another media services company in Toronto, in October 2023. That deal was supported by Québec-based institutional investor The Fonds de solidartié FTQ, which reportedly planned to partner with difuze for long-term growth.

“The market is still in the process of recovering from the dual strikes. With the uncertainty surrounding the Technicians Guilds (IATSE, Teamsters) that are up for renewal this summer, the recovery is expected to be delayed to the fall of 2024/winter 2025, at best,” Savoie explained.