Iyuno Completes Acquisition of SDI Media

Iyuno Media Group completed its acquisition of SDI Media today, forming the world’s largest media localization provider. The announcement came with a new company name: Iyuno-SDI Group.

The companies had publicly stated that the acquisition was underway pending regulatory approvals. Partly because the previous owner of SDI, Japanese post-production company Imagica Corporation, was publicly-traded, the regulatory process took about 60 days. The acquisition had to be approved by a few governments in Europe, South America, and Asia — and Iyuno-SDI Group became a privately held company when Iyuno bought 100% of SDI’s shares. The announcement came after the close of Friday’s Tokyo stock exchange.

The combined company has provided localization and entertainment technology solutions to the media industry for more than a collective 70 years. The new Iyuno-SDI Group owns and operates a combination of 67 offices located globally across 34 countries, providing a complete suite of end-to-end solutions with expanded depth and capacity to support the future scale of the media industry. The combined technology is now capable of facilitating all needed changes to a particular media project “from original version to every conceivable and commercially viable language on the planet,” said Chris Carey, chief revenue officer.

David Lee

The acquisition comes with shifting leadership roles. David Lee, founder and former CEO of Iyuno, took on a role of chairman of the board a year ago. With the acquisition, he stepped in again as CEO of the combined company.

Mark Howorth, former SDI Media CEO, is now the president of Iyuno-SDI Group. “We’re delighted to be joining Iyuno,” said Howorth. “This combination gives us the necessary scale to meet increasingly challenging customer demands. Our customers require rapid turnarounds, cutting-edge technology, and a global footprint.”

Technology was a major theme in the acquisition. “The accelerating changes in the world are creating the need for more content that reaches audiences in every corner of the world. We know that we must accelerate our technical innovation through advances in AI, workflow automation, machine translation, and global technology infrastructures,” said Lee. “In addition to these technological advancements, we have an equal priority to advance the artistic process, which then brings together the perfect combination of both disciplines to advance the state of the art of localization.”

Carey emphasized that artistry was still a big part of the company. “We have an incredible depth of creative talent,” he said.

Iyuno is backed by Altor, Shamrock Capital, and SoftBank Ventures Asia, its primary financial partners, and purchased SDI for an undisclosed sum.




Katie Botkin
Katie Botkin is a freelance writer. She has a master’s degree in English with an emphasis on linguistics and has taught English on three continents.

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