Luxembourg-based euroscript International announced a joint venture today called BGS euroscript Inc. The company has partnered with Brink Global Solutions, LLC, based in Minneapolis, to form the new company. We sat down with Mark Evenepoel, euroscript International’s Chief Executive Officer, to learn more.
If the name “Brink” sounds familiar to you, it should. Jeff Brink and Greg Brink, the founders of Brink Global Solutions, have worked in the language services industry for more than two decades. They sold their previous translation company to the Merrill Corporation in 2005. Today, Merrill Brink International is #25 in the list of the world’s largest language service providers. The Brinks will serve as principals in BGS euroscript and will head up the management team.
When we asked Evenepoel why euroscript went the route of a joint venture as opposed to simply acquiring a company, he highlighted one important fact, “When you acquire a company, you sometimes pay for things that are redundant, and you have to deal with integration issues.” He added that euroscript preferred to take advantage of its own technological and delivery backbone while benefiting from the experience of U.S.-based entrepreneurs.
Euroscript already had clients in the U.S. prior to the announcement – many of its existing North American clients had worked with the translation firm through subsidiaries or offices in Europe. Many of these companies then asked the company to support their U.S. locations as well. So, the partnership will enable euroscript to improve local U.S.-based support for those companies. As Evenepoel pointed out, it will also allow the company to obtain a better currency balance between revenue generated in dollars compared to euro-based business.
Why Minnesota? Evenepoel gave several reasons for setting up shop in Minneapolis. First, logistics – the location is very central, providing good time zone coverage for clients on both coasts and everywhere in between. Plus, Minneapolis is a hub for Delta Airlines, which means there are plenty of flight options for major cities in the U.S. and Europe, as well as Montreal, where euroscript has its Canadian operations. Minnesota has a strong education system, making it easier to find good talent – such as recent alumni from the highly-respected programs in translation and interpreting at the University of Minnesota. While there are also quite a few large manufacturing and life sciences companies in the area, this was not the primary driver for selecting the location.
We inquired about why euroscript elected to move into the United States at this particular point in time. Like many companies in the language services industry, euroscript did not suffer much during the financial crisis and the recession that followed. However, they noticed that many language service providers did not want to discuss mergers and acquisitions because of economic instability and uncertainty. “We talked to a number of companies, but we didn’t come across any suitable acquisition targets,” Evenepoel pointed out. So, even though euroscript had been evaluating acquisition opportunities in North America since 2008, the firm decided to stay focused on organic growth up until recently.
Look for euroscript to continue expanding its international presence. Since 2010, the company has been focused on increasing its presence in markets such as the United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Russia, and China. Its entry into the United States is just one more component of the global expansion plan.