Language industry news, research, and advisory leader, Slator, has published its 2022 mergers, acquisitions, and funding report for the global language industry. The 44-page report analyzes more than 60 transactions and 18 funding rounds concluded in the market for translation, localization, and language technology in 2022.
Trade sales, i.e., company-to-company deals, accounted for the vast majority of language industry transactions:
- The US was the most active country for both buyers and sellers
- Multi-sector translation agencies were the most popular targets for trade buyers
- Other popular verticals were media localization, interpreting, captioning, and transcription
M&A deal volumes slowed in 2022, compared to record highs in 2021. Although debt-financed acquisitions became more challenging later in the year, private equity remained active in the language industry.
Slator’s Managing Director, Florian Faes said:
“One reason for the resilience in language industry M&A is that the average LSP is profitable and typically generates solid growth — a combination that finds financial backers even in an environment of rising interest rates. Raising funds further out on the risk curve got a lot tougher as the year went on, though.”
In 2022, four transactions were made by financial investors waging their first bet on the language services industry, while nearly half of all trade sales involved private equity-backed buyers. Funds raised by language industry startups totaled nearly USD 200m in 2022, and investors were most enticed by AI-centric pitches, speech translation, and web localization technology.
In addition to an in-depth analysis of the language industry’s M&A landscape, Slator’s report offers an overview of the most active verticals for M&A, and profiles of more than 20 of the most heavily-invested PE firms. The report is a must-have for senior leadership, corporate development professionals, investment banking, private equity, corporate strategy, and financial advisers looking to understand what drives M&A in the language industry. It can also be used as a benchmark for future transactions.
Slator is the leading source of news and research for the global translation, localization, and language technology industry. Our Advisory practice is a trusted partner to clients looking for independent analysis. Headquartered in Zurich, Slator has a presence in Asia, Europe, and the US. For more information, visit www.slator.com or find us on social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook.