European PE giant acquires fast-expanding languages firm

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Leading Manchester language services provider, DA Languages, has been acquired by European private equity firm IK Partners from Foresight Group for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 1998, DAL is one of the fastest growing language services providers in the UK, providing critical services to organisations communicating with non-English speakers.

With a network of more than 8,000 mother tongue interpreters and translators, DAL’s offering spans face-to-face, video and telephone interpretation along with written translation services.

More than 450 languages and dialects are provided, including sign language, enabling better outcomes for all stakeholders.

Promoting inclusivity and equality is at the heart of DAL’s operations, ensuring that language barriers are removed in critical situations, particularly in healthcare and legal settings.

IK is acquiring the company from Foresight, a listed infrastructure and private equity investment manager, which invested into DAL from its Regional Investment Fund in May 2018.

During Foresight’s ownership, DAL has strengthened its management team, substantially grown its employee base and developed a highly diverse client base of NHS trusts, charities, city councils, and corporates, building a strong reputation for quality provision.

The business has also invested significantly in technology and IT infrastructure to support its clients, including the acquisition of Miton Systems, an interpreting technology specialist, enabling DAL to offer its own proprietary video and telephone remote interpreting products.

The incumbent management team, led by managing director Matthew Taylor, as well as the founder, Actar Arya, will be reinvesting in the business.

IK will work alongside the team to continue scaling DAL both organically and through add-on acquisitions, with a particular focus on investing further in DAL’s differentiated technology offering to broaden the client base across the public and private sectors and expand its range of services.

The acquisition was made by the firm’s IK Small Cap III Fund.

Tom Salmon, partner at IK Partners and advisor to the Small Cap III Fund, said: “DAL is an excellent business operating in a market underpinned by attractive, long term growth prospects.

“We have been very impressed with the achievements of Matthew and the rest of the team in broadening the business’s framework coverage and client base and further developing DAL’s proprietary technology offering.

“With our strong track record in supporting European technology-enabled services businesses to scale rapidly, we are delighted to be partnering with the management team on the next phase of the business’s journey.”

Matthew Taylor said: “We would like to thank the team at Foresight for their support over the past three and a half years, during which time we have grown our offering considerably to meet the critical needs of a broader range of customers. We are excited to partner with IK and benefit from their expertise and experience to further enhance our quality service and technology proposition.”

Claire Alvarez, partner at Foresight, said: “It has been such a positive experience working with Matt, Actar and the wider team at DAL, helping them expand their services to support vulnerable people.

“We are delighted that we have been able to support the company’s rapid growth, creating so many new jobs whilst making such a worthwhile impact. We wish the team every success for the future.”

Advisors on the deal included GCA Altium.

To hear about their growth journey and more from its managing director Matt Taylor, come along to our next in-person event which will put the spotlight on the region’s SMEs on 8 December. Register here