Germany-based language service provider (LSP) DEMAN Übersetzungen has been snapping up small LSPs around Europe, from single proprietorships to boutique agencies.
Cédric Sigoire, DEMAN CEO, told Slator, “We grew from EUR 3.5m turnover in 2020 to about EUR 6m in 2021, mainly through external growth. Through these acquisitions, we are increasing our sales team and size to be able to approach larger customers.”
Over the past year, DEMAN has acquired Locsoft.net (Germany, Switzerland), A4Traduction.com (France), and MediaMate.com (Germany). Most recently, at this writing, DEMAN has also tucked in InvaCon Translations (Germany) and Traducteo / Accent Mondial (France, Korea), the latter being the bigger deal. All acquisitions were funded by bank loans.
The Traducteo / Accent Mondial deal closed on December 20, 2021 in Paris, Sigoire said, with the support of French investment bank Société Générale, law firm Moisand, Boutin & Associés, and M&A broker Mayland AG.
According to Sigoire, Traducteo founder, Fabien Zanini, owned 50% of the company, the other half belonging to two investors who have decided to exit. Zanini will stay on as Managing Director of DEMAN France. Traducteo, which also owned 80% of Accent Mondial in South Korea, has a total staff count of 13 and grew 15% in 2021 to EUR 1.8m in overall sales.
Meanwhile, the InvaCon deal was officially closed on December 31, 2021. The LSP belonged to Christian Landau (75%) and Tobias Landau (25%). The latter has left the company to take up a commercial position elsewhere, Sigoire said. InvaCon did EUR 0.15–0.35 annually over the last four years, with sales being about EUR 0.15 in 2021.
Sigoire told Slator that the primary rationale behind the acquisitions was to expand DEMAN’s customer base. The newly acquired LSPs specialize in a range of services, from general to industrial and technical translations.
Asked about his timeline for integrating the companies, he said A4Traduction will be folded into Traducteo in Q1 2022, consolidating the group’s French operations. As for the rest of the acquired brands, they will remain for now, Sigoire said, adding, “I may think about changing the name of the group after reaching a significant size of EUR 10–15m turnover.”
Tech Integration and Future M&A
DEMAN’s newly acquired LSPs run on different tech platforms. Traducteo / Accent Mondial, for instance, uses both memoQ and Trados as translation productivity (a.k.a. CAT) tools plus its proprietary translation management system (TMS), Teedeo.com. Locsoft uses Across, DéjàVu, as well as Trados as CAT tools.
InvaCon, meanwhile, developed its own proprietary technology: a TMS to manage its translator database and a CRM (“accessible as a SaaS”) for sales activity. “We will keep the CRM and the translator database. We will most likely not deploy the TMS within the group, since we are planning to integrate the TMS from Teedeo.com,” the DEMAN CEO told Slator.
On his M&A roadmap for 2022, Sigoire said, “My first goal is to increase our market share in Europe, mainly Germany and France, but I am open for further opportunities. The ideal target size is between EUR 0.5m and EUR 2m, which allows a quick integration. I am also willing to acquire more knowledge in machine translation.”
Featured Image: Cédric Sigoire, CEO, DEMAN (L) with Fabien Zanini, Founder, Traducteo