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

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

Founded in 1997, LocalEyes started off as a content localisation company with Apple as its first client. Today, it employs 150 people across 12 offices in Europe and one in San Francisco, serving clients such as Amazon, IBM, Samsung, Siemens, Phillips and Renault.

The acquisition of LocalEyes was financed by issuing two bonds listed on the ExtraMot Pro3, the Italian Stock Exhange’s bond segment launched in 2019. Star7 is itself listed on the Italian Stock Exchange, known as Borsa Italiana, based in Milan.

“[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 20 years of existence, LocalEyes as evolved from a small team helping Apple to a large team with global operations for multiple tech giants providing translation services in areas such as consumer goods, software and apps, IT, pharma, insurance and hospitality.

Linda Spahija, CEO of LocalEyes, said that her company chose Star7 for the acquisition because of the similarity in their offerings. “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 and has seven offices across the country. It also has an additional 9 offices worldwide, including two elsewhere in Europe, two in the US, four in South America and one in Australia.

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 said.

“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.”

The deal comes at a time when Star7 has seen significant growth in recent years. Its revenues surpassed €43m in 2020, and the company recorded a growth of more than 43pc in the first half of 2021 alone.

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