Dublin ‘pioneer’ Propylon acquired by RWS for €30m

13 Jul 2023

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Propylon said its clients will be able to reach more people through the language technology of RWS, a global company which is eyeing up more of the legal market.

Propylon, a provider of content creation, management and publishing services for legal content, has been acquired by UK-based RWS Holdings for €30.1m.

The deal has been made on a “cash-and-debt free basis” and includes additional deferred payments of €6.45m. These payments will be made on the first and second anniversaries of the completed deal, on the condition that the Propylon management team remains in place.

Dublin-based Propylon has developed software to help organisations stay on top of legislative changes. The company’s content management system is used by governments, standards bodies, legal publishers and regulated firms to handle the drafting, managing, publishing and updating of legal content.

The company was founded in 1999 and has gathered some high-value clients, including a number of US state legislatures and national parliaments. Propylon CEO John Harrington said the acquisition will help its clients reach “international, multilingual audiences” with RWS’s language services and technology.

“Rule-makers and rule-takers are stuck in a traditional book publishing model, even though they often no longer print documentation,” Harrington said. “Our component content management approach is based on point-in-time content management, giving us a unique platform for solving the challenges that rule-makers and rule-takers have in managing their content.”

RWS is a content, translation and localisation provider that offers intellectual property support solutions and life sciences language services. The company uses a combination of human staff and “AI-enabled technology” to help clients grow by being understood in various languages.

The company has 65 locations across five continents, with clients across a wide range of industries including the automotive, chemical, financial, legal, medical and pharmaceutical sectors. RWS claims to work with more than 80pc of the world’s top 100 brands.

RWS said the Propylon acquisition aligns with its strategy to serve the regulated and legal markets, while strengthening its innovation in structured content management. RWS CEO Ian El-Mokadem said Propylon is a “pioneer” in the industry.

“The synergies between our organisations come from our ability to combine offerings, expand our geographical reach and bring new propositions to our global client base,” El-Mokadem said.  “Today’s announcement supports our medium to long-term growth strategy and signals our intention to remain at the forefront of the structured content market.”

In 2020, RWS acquired Iconic Translation Machines, a DCU spin-out that specialises in the development of neural machine translation for specific industries and blue-chip clients.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic