A large amount of foreign language documents can really put a spanner in the works when negotiating international M&A deals. Translation for due-diligence can seem like a daunting task, presenting financial issues and timing concerns. If you’ve got a cross-border M&A on the horizon, it is wise to start preparing as soon as possible. Here are some of our top tips to ensure your M&A translation project is dealt with professionally and efficiently.
1. Don’t risk it with last minute in-house solutions: contract a translation provider
Although relying on bilingual in-house employees may be an adequate solution in some cases, the volume and nature of documents in a Virtual Data Room (VDR) requires the services of a professional translation agency.
Outsourcing for your translation needs means a team of professional translators working quickly and efficiently, using translation document-processing technology that would not be accessible in-house. If you have a large volume of documents requiring urgent translation, leave the task in the hands of a certified project manager, leaving you with more time to focus on the diligence.
2. Execute an NDA as soon as possible
Make sure to arrange an NDA with your language service provider well in advance. If left to the last minute, this can delay the translation process by 2-3 days, with your team waiting for documents to review while you coordinate a four-way conversation with your lawyers, the client’s lawyers, the seller’s lawyers and the translation provider.
It is a simple step, and will save you time and unnecessary hassle if arranged as soon as you have chosen a translation agency.
In addition to the NDA, it is also key to sort out as soon as possible all legal or access issues concerning documents rights. Translators will need access to unprotected electronic files to avoid additional costs. Make sure your translation provider has access to the VDR or to file downloads. If you require permission from your client or the seller, it is best to arrange this ahead of time.
3. Plan for translation costs
It is easy to underestimate the costs of professional translation. Make sure you request an indicative price estimate from your translation service provider. This step is straightforward – simply request a quote. However, your translation agency of choice can only provide an estimate without direct access to the documents.
To help speed up the process, it is always a good idea to provide the agency with the following information:
- The approximate number of documents you need to translate
- The language of the documents
- The nature of documents involved: will there be expert financial, legal, or scientific documents?
- How many of these documents are photographic scans. This is important for the translation provider to know as they require machine-readable documents for machine translation. Photographic scans need to be converted, which can add additional costs to your bill.
- The level of detail required for your purposes: machine translation overview, post-edited machine translation, or full human translation?
- When you will you require your translated documents. Turnaround times can vary. If you send five pages, the agency may be able to provide you with a translation the next day. However, larger volumes of work required with the same urgency will come at a price. If you give sufficient notice, it is reasonable to expect full translation of five documents per day (on average about 40 pages with 10,000 words) without any additional costs.
4. Set out a document management process
With such a high quantity of documents and a constant workflow, it’s easy to misplace documents or lose track of spending.
Make sure you establish a document management process early on, outlining how you will exchange documents with your translation provider, how you will record costs, what naming standard you will use for files, etc. It is best to avoid email for file exchange, as files can easily be lost.
Opt for a shared spreadsheet instead, with a complete list of all documents and their translation price.
5. Communicate with your language service provider
As the deal advisor, you may be required to send questions to the other party in their native language. Your translation provider will be able to help you with this, as long as you provide questions in a timely and organized manner, to avoid bottleneck and allow for ease of communication.
Arrange for a day of the week to send your questions, and your appointed team of linguists will be able to provide your translations the next day. Of course, the option of 24/7 Q&A translation is available, but will come at a higher price.
BeTranslated, your number one provider for M&A translation services
A online translation agency can help you every step of the way in carrying out your international merger and acquisition deal.