In my recent article ILTA 2012 Part 3 – Some market observations I said this:
There are rumours of at least one significant acquisition – by “significant”, I mean that a major player will buy a strong but smaller niche player to give it new markets and not merely talent and client lists.
I would like to say that my antennae had picked up TransPerfect’s acquisition of Digital Reef, which was announced today, but that would not be true. What I had heard was something different and did not identify the target. It is probably not the case either that TransPerfect’s primary motive was the opening of new markets, since TransPerfect seems well able to open new markets anyway.
The acquisition is, however, consistent with the broad idea expressed in my ILTA article – that bigger players will fill the gaps in their market offerings by acquiring the best tools and skills, if necessary by buying the companies which own them. Digital Reef’s Big Data processing power for enterprise-scale eDiscovery and its early case assessment abilities make an attractive addition to TransPerfect’s service offerings.
TransPerfect is a big player with annual revenues of over $300 million. It is the world’s largest privately-held provider of language services and technology solutions with offices in 80 cities on 5 continents. It also has hosting facilities in London and Hong Kong amongst other places.
Digital Reef’s clients will be pleased, I would guess, to have access to the latter as well as to the increased footprint, the support, and the backing for future development. I recall a conversation a long time ago with Ivan O’Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer of Digital Reef and now joining TransPerfect’s senior management team, about his unwillingness to take on projects which Digital Reef would find hard to support for geographic reasons. That brake is now removed.
I await future developments with interest.