As Slator reported on February 15, 2015, UK-based Capita TI, the language services unit of British conglomerate Capita plc, acquired fellow London-based technical translation provider ITR. Slator reached out to Capita TI Managing Director, Kevin Gordon, to learn more about the acquisition, the integration that is underway, and his plans for future acquisitions.
Gordon declined to comment on ITR’s revenue and EBITDA, but said ITR runs a multimillion-GBP translation business. He also declined to disclose how much Capita TI paid for the company. In terms of full-time staff, Gordon said ITR employs over 20 staff at its office in West London.
ITRs previous owners John Fisher and Helen Eckersley will leave the company after a relatively brief handover period of “about one month,” according to Gordon. Capita TI seems keen on a fast integration of the acquired business.
Gordon pointed out they were “very visible” at the ITR offices in the days after the acquisition and are now in the middle of meeting key clients. He said, “Once you’ve got a robust plan you have to execute as soon as possible.”
Asked about whether ITR’s office is going to be maintained, he pointed out that Capita TI has an office in Victoria, which is less than a mile away from ITR, but stressed that merging the two offices is “not high up on the list” at the moment.
So how does ITR fit into Capita TI’s strategy? Capita TI runs two separate lines of business. The interpreting business focused on clients from the public sector and the translation business. According to Gordon, the interpreting business is growing in the single digits and is very much geographically constrained. He is more excited about the translation business, which he says is posting double digit growth and where he “sees far for opportunities to do acquisitions.”
Gordon also commented that he liked ITR’s client portfolio, which consists of a relatively small number of sizeable customers that have been with the company for years.
Within the translation unit, Capita TI specializes in four industry verticals. Finance, legal, automotive, and technical. By buying ITR, Gordon is now building out the technical translation business.
And more deals are in the pipeline at Capita TI. According to Gordon, the company is “looking at acquisitions in the US and Europe.”
He further pointed out that “a legal-focused translation business in the US” or another technical translation business would “certainly get our attention.”
ITR’s strengths do not seem to lie in any groundbreaking technology, but rather in offering a personalized service to longstanding clients. According to Gordon, ITR uses a SharePoint-based ERP and project management workflow completed by SDL Trados on the CAT side.
Capita TI, meanwhile, runs on RR Donnelley’s MultiTrans. Gordon said it is too early to make an assessment about how the technology is going to be integrated and that they “need to be very careful to harmonize the two platforms.”