Cork-based LocalEyes acquired for €25m by Italy’s Star7

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Star7 said it has had its eyes for some time on LocalEyes, which started off as a translation company for Apple in Ireland.

LocalEyes, a Cork-based translation and language service provider, has been acquired by Italy’s Star7 in a €25m deal.

Founded in 1997, LocalEyes started off as a content localisation company to support Apple, which has a major campus in Cork.

Today, it employs 150 people across 12 offices in Europe and one in San Francisco, serving other clients such as Amazon, IBM, Samsung, Siemens, Phillips and Renault.

Star7 is a content creation and management provider listed on the Borsa Italiana stock exchange in Milan. The acquisition of LocalEyes was financed by issuing two bonds listed on the ExtraMot Pro3, the Borsa Italiana bond segment launched in 2019.

“[The acquisition] greatly strengthens our presence in Europe and the United States. We now lead the strategic technology sector for global content services, and we have gained a customer of the calibre of Apple,” said Lorenzo Mondo, chair and CEO of Star7.

In its more than 20 years of existence, LocalEyes as evolved from a small team serving Apple to a company with global operations providing translation services for multiple tech and business giants in areas such as consumer goods, software and apps, IT, pharma, insurance and hospitality.

Linda Spahija, CEO of LocalEyes, said there are similarities in the offerings of Star7 and her company. “We chose Star7 because of the close match between the history and the vision of our two businesses,” she said.

“We both have content localisation in our DNA, have seen extraordinary growth and view a tailor-made approach to business for premium customers as our mission.”

Eyes on LocalEyes

Star7 is based in the Italian city of Alessandria. It has seven offices across the country and an additional nine offices worldwide.

Mondo said that Star7 has had its eyes on LocalEyes for “some time” now. “Our group’s incredible performance in recent years has helped secure the deal, overcoming competition from large groups in the sector,” he added.

“This is a source of pride and makes us confident for the future. We are hopeful that today’s transaction and the significant synergies we have already identified will translate into results that give new impetus to our growth journey.”

Star7 has seen significant growth in recent years. Its revenues surpassed €43m in 2020 and the company recorded growth of more than 43pc in the first half of 2021.

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