Cross-border M&A is a complex undertaking at best. It can involve tight deadlines, a substantial due diligence review and all parties meetings and conference calls. Even further considerations are added when foreign languages are involved.
Does your language service provider (LSP) understand these requirements? Can they offer cost-effective and time efficient solutions, enabling you to carry on with chargeable work? Make the most of the services that your LSP can provide and consider the following on your next cross-border transaction.
Despite the fact that geo-political uncertainty remains high, legal experts are positive of the 2017 outlook for cross-border M&A. JP Morgan expects cross-border transactions in 2017 to ‘continue to provide a source of value creation’ as a presence in new markets opens up new economic opportunities.
Earlier in the year, Reuters reported that over $170 billion of cross-border M&A deals between US and European companies had been announced so far in 2017 – a figure not seen at this stage of the year for over a decade.
Whilst the top 100 global deals are mainly dominated by the US, KPMG believes that China and Asia are key pioneers in cross-border deals, thanks to the local policy of encouraging outbound investment and growth.
Most deals demand that due diligence is carried out as quickly as possible in order to comply with exclusivity arrangements and in order to advise your client on any potential issues. This can be difficult if the target or seller entity is based in a different jurisdiction and the documents forming part of due diligence are in another language and require translation.
Reviewing translated documents in line with your scope of work can be rather time-consuming and you may find that not all documents are relevant to your assessment. This only becomes apparent once you have paid and, more importantly, waited for the translated documents from your LSP. Depending on the circumstances, you may want to discuss with your LSP a summary or ‘gist’ translation. This involves providing a list of questions or key information to your LSP which will be passed on to the translator. The linguist will only translate the answers to those questions or the key information requested.
This saves time in terms of translation but also in terms of review – it allows you to dismiss all irrelevant content and focus on translating only the useful sections and documents.
Sending due diligence documentation to your LSP for translation via email can eat into critical deal timelines and, on occasion, isn’t possible given the size of the files. There are also security issues to consider. Can your LSP provide you with access to a secure online environment which allows you to submit documentation for a quote, approve the quote and track the progress of a translation job? Keeping track of your project will allow you to manage your deal team and client expectations accordingly.
Similarly, 24-hour access means that you don’t have to submit documents or approve quotes only within business hours, preventing any delay to that critical timeline.
Arranging for the execution of translated deal documentation with parties situated in other jurisdictions can include understanding the complex requirements in those jurisdictions as well as arranging for translated documents to be notarised or apostilled before parties can sign. This can be hugely time-consuming on the basis that notary and foreign office/consulate appointments are queue or appointment- based and not always available at short notice. Similarly, last minute amendments to deal documentation can also have a knock-on effect to the certification process.
Allow extra time, plan ahead and engage your LSP as soon as possible in the process to avoid unnecessary delays and increased costs for expedited services.
All parties’ meetings and conference calls are essential in terms of deal management and the effective resolution of any issues which will, on occasion, require the services of an interpreter. LSPs should be able to offer both face-to-face and instant telephoning interpreting support. Instant telephone interpreting is a service offered around the clock with interpreters available on demand within 60 seconds, enabling you to engage in important discussions without any delay or tedious logistics planning.
Coordinating and dealing with numerous suppliers for all of the above services can be time-consuming and expensive. If your LSP can handle all of your translation needs on your cross-border transaction under one roof with one point of contact, your deal deadlines won’t be a problem.
For more information on our language service to the legal sector, visit our legal translation services page.