The deal consists of a partial buyout of the existing managing shareholders combined with an increase in the company's equity. The funds will be used to make further acquisitions and finance ongoing global expansion. On completion of the transaction, the existing management team headed by CEO Doris Albisser will hold a substantial minority interest.
CLS Communication was formed in 1997 as a spin-off from the language services departments of Swiss Bank Corporation (now UBS) and Zurich Insurance and was incorporated with registered office in Basel. Today CLS is a provider of integrated multilingual communication services in its core areas of finance, insurance, life sciences, telecommunications and legal. The company is one of the 15 largest global language services providers and is the market leader in Switzerland. A number of major companies have outsourced their language services to CLS. As a provider of integrated multilingual communication and language technology solutions, CLS offers a broad range of services. These include copywriting and editing, human and machine translation, terminology databases as well as integrated client applications. In 2008 the company posted sales of around CHF 60 million with an internal headcount of 350 linguists and related specialists. In addition to its own employees CLS has a global network of over 1600 external language specialists throughout the world. As a technology innovator CLS employs state-of-the-art language technology and complies with the most stringent banking confidentiality requirements.
Zurmont Madison's investment will secure the equity funding required to execute the company's international growth strategy. The language services market is extremely fragmented and therefore offers good expansion opportunities to a leading provider with a strong capital base. As a result of the transaction, new directors from Zurmont Madison Management AG, Zurich, will join the CLS board of directors, which currently consists of Alfred Niederer, Markus Hildbrand and Doris Albisser. The new members are Guido Patroncini, Andreas Ziegler and Michel Hirschi. The company's operational management will remain in the hands of the present executive team.
Guido Patroncini, founding partner of Zurmont Madison Management AG, said: "We look forward to embarking on the next stages of growth together with the successful CLS team. Zurmont Madison will offer financial backing as well as support for the execution of a buy-and-build strategy."
Doris Albisser, CEO of CLS: "With Zurmont Madison we have found a shareholder that fits well with CLS and is committed to long-term success. This capital injection will enable us to continue and redouble our growth efforts. We look forward to a successful and constructive partnership."
About Zurmont Madison Management AG
The private equity team of Zurmont Madison Management AG, Zurich, has closed 17 private equity deals to date for a total equity investment of CHF 375 million and is focused on equity financing for corporate successions, MBOs and spin-offs of corporate groups in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. The Zurmont Madison Private Equity L.P. fund, which is advised exclusively by Zurmont Madison Management, has a volume of over CHF 250 million and currently holds two majority shareholdings: Röder Zeltsysteme und Service AG in Germany and the Swiss company SMB SA in Ticino. Previous transactions include succession arrangements for the Similor Group and Schlatter Holding AG and the management buyout of Burckhardt Compression AG followed by the company's subsequent IPO on SIX Swiss Exchange.
About CLS Communication
CLS Communication AG (cls-communication.com) is an international language and technology services provider for multilingual communication in the fields of finance, insurance, telecommunications, life sciences and legal. Headquartered in Switzerland with 14 locations in Europe, the USA and Asia, the company specialises in the production, translation and management of multilingual documentation. Its client base includes some 1000 well-known global companies, all of whom rely on their partnership with CLS Communication to enhance the efficiency of their business communications on a long-term basis.
For further information, please contact:
Zurmont Madison, Andreas Ziegler
T: +41 79 436 28 29
CLS Communication AG, Doris Albisser, CEO
T: +41 44 206 68 50
Dynamics Group AG
T: +41 43 268 32 30