United Language Group Completes 2nd Acquisition: Acquires KJ International and Closes Merrill Brink Transaction
United Language Group (ULG) today announced the completion of its acquisition of Merrill Brink International, formerly a subsidiary of Merrill Corporation. Simultaneously, ULG acquired its 2nd company, KJ International Resources (KJI), a Minneapolis-based language-service provider specializing in the life sciences sector.
ULG was formed in 2015 by industry veterans Jeff Brink, Hans Fenstermacher, and Greg Brink, later joined by veteran CFO Karrie Willis, as a platform to assemble a family of complementary companies, with a goal of becoming one of the largest language-service providers in the world.
“We are delighted to launch our strategy with Merrill Brink, then immediately strengthen our life sciences practice with KJ International,” said Jeff Brink, CEO of ULG. “Both companies have developed strong brands and customer loyalty, and share similar corporate cultures. Additionally, both organizations will benefit from cross-pollination of complementary technologies, skillsets and an expanded global footprint. We believe KJ International is a perfect fit, underscoring our commitment to the life sciences sector.”
“We are thrilled to be joining forces with ULG. This opportunity will benefit our clients as we expand our current translation and localization offerings, and further advance our skills and expertise within highly regulated industries,” said Kristen Giovanis, co-founder and CEO of KJI. With its second acquisition, ULG is already at approximately $50 million in annual revenues, immediately ranking it in the top 25 language-service companies worldwide, according to industry analyst Common Sense Advisory.
ULG is backed by equity investment firm Northern Pacific Group (NPG), with mezzanine capital from Yukon Partners (Yukon) and senior credit from Bell Capital. “We’re excited about this investment in the language business and we see tremendous opportunities for growth, both organically and through further acquisitions. We expect to be very active in this highly-fragmented $40 billion industry,” said Peter Offenhauser, Partner of NPG.
Mike Hall, Managing Partner of Yukon, added, “We are excited to partner with NPG and ULG management to support the Company’s growth strategy. We are confident that with NPG’s leadership, alongside management’s strong operational expertise and industry experience, the ULG platform is well positioned for future growth.”
About United Language Group
United Language Group is a global organization headquartered in Minneapolis with offices in New York, Hong Kong, Galway (Ireland), and London. ULG is dedicated to building and managing a portfolio of high-performing and complementary language service providers. United Language Group adds value and leverages synergies for the collective benefit of its companies and customers. For more information, please visit http://www.united-lg.com.
About Northern Pacific Group
Northern Pacific Group is a Minnesota-based growth equity investment firm focused on acquiring and investing in growing companies in the Midwest. Northern Pacific Group seeks to partner with ownership groups and management teams in order to add value beyond just providing capital. For more information, please visit http://www.northernpacificgroup.com.
About KJ International Resources
KJ International Resources is a leading provider of translation and localization services in a wide range of medical, technical and other highly regulated fields. KJI is committed to excellent customer service and high quality language services that support the global requirements of our international clients. For more information, please visit http://www.kjinternational.com.
About Yukon Partners
Yukon Partners is an independent and unaffiliated mezzanine firm primarily serving middle market private equity sponsored business transactions with a typical investment range of $10 to $40 million in the U.S. and Canada. The transactions in which Yukon invests include buyouts, growth and platform strategies, recapitalizations, mergers/acquisitions, and public-to-private buyouts. Yukon Partners is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more information, please visit www.yukonpartners.com.
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