Germany’s Flexword to Acquire Local Boutique Translation Agency

Flexword acquires exact translation company

Two long-standing German language service providers (LSPs) will officially join forces later this year. Cooperation has already begun between Flexword and exact! — the boutique translation agency it will acquire in July 2023 — with shared IT system upgrades and other training and development initiatives already underway. 

Although Flexword declined to share financial information for either company or disclose information related to the deal, its Managing Director, Goranka Miš-Čak, told Slator, “We expect double-digit revenue growth again in 2023, as we did in 2022.”

Miš-Čak explained that both LSPs have operated in Germany’s translation market for the past three decades and were known to each other prior to the deal. “Flexword has been looking for strategic partners for several years now,” she said. 

According to the MD, the two companies complement each other from the perspective of services, quality standards, and team outlook, and both are based in Mannheim, in southwest Germany. 

Exact!, which will retain its own brand, specializes in the English-German language pairs and services customers spanning sectors including marketing, communications, banking, law, science, and technology. Meanwhile, Flexword operates in a broader range of languages for customers in the life sciences, engineering, and legal fields, such as Roche, Fresenius, and Dentsply Sirona. 

Both companies use a range of third-party translation tools including Trados, Plunet Business Manager, MemoQ, Across, as well as a number of machine translation (MT) engines. Miš-Čak observed, “We are investing in the implementation of tested, newly approved AI technologies.”

As part of the acquisition, exact!’s co-MDs, Martin Gundlach and Gritt Mückstein, will step away from their management roles, with Miš-Čak assuming the additional role of MD of exact!. (Grudlach and Mückstein also operate Docuwerk, a technical documentation and translation company, together with a third partner, Marco Kamradt.)

Flexword and exact! have 60 employees combined — working across admin and project management roles — and draw on the services of an extra ca. 100 contractors on average each month. In addition, “A newly formed management-level team will be refining our translation and quality assurance processes,” Miš-Čak said. 

Asked about her take on the market for translation services in Germany, Miš-Čak said it is “characterized by many small and medium-sized players.” 

She also noted that Covid-19 led to a “reduction in international business processes” in recent years and that “even now, some smaller companies are looking at the current economic situation with concern.” Having recently opened new locations in the US, UK, and Serbia, Miš-Čak said Flexword now plans to “take advantage of the current market situation for further expansion.”