Germany-based language service provider (LSP), t’works, has acquired Paris-based LSP, Lexcelera. Transaction price and/or earnings multiple paid remain undisclosed.
Christian Enssner, Managing Director at t’works, told Slator that the deal closed on February 19, 2021. Advising t’works were Rödl & Partner France (financial, tax, legal), while BCMS advised Lexcelera.
Lexcelera will continue to operate independently under existing management and retain its brand within the t’works Group, which includes 2019 acquisition text&form. At the time of the sale, t’works had a headcount of 190 and Lexcelera, 12.
Lori Thicke, who founded Lexcelera in 1986 and was also a co-founder of Translators Without Borders, left the company following the sale. According to Enssner, “Long-time COO Laurence Roguet will continue to lead Lexcelera on an operational and strategic level.”
Although t’works operates translation hubs with in-house translators in the UK and France, the Lexcelera deal is the German LSP’s first foray into the French client-facing market, Enssner said, adding that 35–40% of t’works’ customers are located outside Germany. He added that there is currently no client overlap between the two companies.
Aiming to pursue “internationalization outside the DACH region by partnering with a technology-driven company,” as Enssner put it, t’works considered the Lexcelera acquisition after BCMS approached them — and were “quickly convinced [of the] great fit between the two companies.”
BCMS also advised legal and patent specialist LSP Falcon Translations in its sale to Xplanation in 2013. (Xplanation has since been acquired by LanguageWire.) They were also involved in the 2007 sale of Japanese Language Services to RWS.
Revenues and Future M&A
The t’works Group is ranked #59 under the Challenger category on the Slator 2021 LSPI. Group revenues for 2020 totaled EUR 15.4m (USD 18.8m), up 4% from EUR 14.8m in 2019. Meanwhile, Lexcelera’s 2020 revenues stood at EUR 3m, Enssner said.
The t’works Managing Director further told Slator that overall revenues are forecast to grow 26% in 2021 to EUR 19.5m (USD 23m); but “without the Covid-19 impact, the Group would have grown substantially faster.”
Aside from text&form, the t’works umbrella also includes t’works Language Services, Enssner Zeitgeist, ASI, and ProLangua. Services cover translation, proofreading and post-editing, software localization (e.g., for SAP), terminology management, layouting, interpreting, transcription, transcreation, and language consulting.
Two of LSPs joined the Group in 2020: t’works acquired Vienna-based ASI in February 2020 and Berlin-based ProLangua in June 2020. Enssner described ASI as “our Austrian language boutique with […] a focus in multilingual Corporate Communication & Investor Relations,” while ProLangua is “a smaller affiliate company with a focus on technical verticals and multilingual checks on new brand and product names.”
As for 2019 acquisition text&form, he said they have already “aligned major workflows and processes” vis-à-vis the overall organization.
On the Group’s M&A plans moving forward, Enssner said, “We are in talks with several companies in Europe. We carefully validate the strategic and financial fit of each potential target with the existing group. We do not want to narrow our M&A focus on specific areas and [will] decide on a case by case basis.”
Correction note: A previous version of this article said that BCMS advised Xplanation in their acquisition of Falcon in 2013. BCMS clarified that they advised Falcon but not Xplanation, and that they only work on behalf of vendor companies, and do not advise buyers.