In a major reconfiguring of the media localization landscape, UK-based media localization provider Iyuno Media Group announced today that it is acquiring its largest rival, SDI Media. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, but Iyuno has entered into the agreement with Imagica Group Inc., the current owner of SDI, to acquire 100% of its former rival.
“With both companies’ presence across APAC, EMEA, and the Americas, we are very excited about the opportunity to become the best-in-class global localization services company. We believe the size, scale, technology, and global reach of the combined company will support the growth of our customers, the collective industry, and consumers around the world,” said Iyuno executive chairman David Lee. Lee noted that due to the regulatory review and approval process, the company cannot discuss specific future plans until after the acquisition.
Lee was, however, very optimistic. “Our objective for the future is to continue to deliver the quality and service reliability that customers of both companies have come to know — now on a larger and more expansive scale,” he said.
As the fifth localization M&A announced only this week, this is part of a continuing trend. The week’s earlier announcements involved Ad Astra, Across, Straker and Lingotek, and Memsource and Phrase. “Iyuno’s acquisition of SDI Media is big news for the industry, but not completely unexpected. Last year, we witnessed an increasing M&A trend in the media localization industry, with Iyuno acquiring BTI Studios, and Transperfect acquiring MoGi Group and Lylo,” said Belén Agulló García, lead media localization researcher at Nimdzi Insights.
Once the deal is complete — pending standard reviews — the acquisition will see Iyuno take over ownership of US-headquartered SDI Media, currently the world’s largest pure-play media localization provider by revenue. After the acquisition, Iyuno will the largest. Iyuno generated revenues of $185 million in 2019, while SDI Media brought in $215 million the same year.
García stated that the big players in the media industry — broadcasters, streaming platforms, and film distributors — are increasingly setting highly specialized technical requirements, and are looking for service providers that are able to meet as many of those requirements as possible. “The workflows are more complex than ever, and the time-to-market in this globalized world is just getting shorter and shorter. So content creators need to make their lives easy by choosing the correct vendors. That is why technology is more important than ever, especially amid the pandemic.”
The alliance between Iyuno and SDI Media is a reflection of the media industry’s current needs, said García. “While both companies are well-known for their technology, Iyuno’s technical infrastructure and end-to-end platform for the localization industry plus their latest remote recording developments will add to the vast expertise and network of dubbing studios of SDI Media. This combination will be very attractive to the big players looking for end-to-end, high-quality solutions.”
Just “as Keywords Studios became dominant in the gaming industry,” said García, “we can expect Iyuno to become the consolidator in the media space.”