LanguageWire announced, on March 10, 2022, the acquisition of Agency Walker Services (AWS), a boutique language service provider (LSP) based in France.
Søren Bech Justesen, CEO of LanguageWire, told Slator, “The share purchase agreement (SPA) was officially signed on March 7, 2022. The closing date is set for March 31. The SPA covers AWS Group consisting of two legal entities, operating under three brands: AWS Traduction, Eurotraduction, and La Traduction Médicale.”
While the CEO of the Denmark-based LSP declined to discuss the purchase price or earnings multiple paid, he disclosed that AWS has an annual turnover of approximately EUR 5m (USD 5.5m).
Asked about LanguageWire’s revenue forecast for 2022, Justesen replied, “As one group, we have a combined revenue of approximately EUR 70m (USD 77m), with the ambition to grow organically around 5–10% in 2022.”
AWS Group was founded by Alain Quillet 34 years ago. Quillet served as President and CEO, and, prior to the sale, owned the majority stake in the LSP, which has 16 full-time employees.
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The management and staff of AWS will join LanguageWire — as will AWS’ freelance translators and interpreters, who will be invited to join the LanguageWire vendor pool. Quillet, who will step down as CEO, will be available on a consultancy basis during the transition period.
Greater MT Relevance in Regulated Industries
According to Justesen, the AWS deal increases LanguageWire’s presence in the French market, and its local one “across 16 locations in 13 countries.” He described the combined company’s client and service mix as complementary.
“AWS Group has a strong footprint in the Life Sciences, Manufacturing, and Service sectors, where LanguageWire has an existing presence. Together, we will have increased capacity and expertise to improve our offerings further,” the CEO said.
Justesen further stated that they expect “increasing growth” in the Life Sciences category, particularly around the “expert advice [that LSPs can offer] on how to streamline and automate multilingual content production.” He noted how the “increasing sophistication” of machine translation has given it greater relevance “to a wide audience, including regulated industries.”
AWS will be migrated to LanguageWire Platform, the LSP’s eponymous proprietary translation management system (TMS). “Integration activities will start shortly and continue to take place throughout the year,” Justesen said; adding, “Our goal is to fully operate as one new company under the LanguageWire brand. However, integration and cooperation will evolve gradually.”
Asked to comment on future M&A plans, Justesen replied, “As a private equity-backed company, we are always looking at other companies that can complement our technology, value chain, and geographic growth plans.”