TransPerfect saga heading toward conclusion?


Hey, it’s finally Friday,

The saga of TransPerfect could finally be winding down.

Chancellor Andre Bouchard agreed to a court-appointed receiver’s recommendation to sell Elizabeth’s Elting’s 50 percent share of the New York City company to Philip Shawe, who controlled  49 percent.   Shawe’s mother owned a one percent stake.

Bouchard was faced with a King Solomon-like dilemma. Neither Shawe, nor Elting –  a former couple who went their separate ways, but co-managed the business for many years –  failed to come up with a buy-sell agreement.

The final decision may be the best outcome for TransPerfect, since Elting seemed to support a proposal by a private equity firm H.I.G. H.I.G. apparently sought to combine TransPerfect with Lionbridge, a competitor it owns.


The result of a sale to H.I.G. might well have resulted in the downsizing of the company that has maintained many of its operations in high-cost New York City.  Details of Shawe’s financing have not been released.

The fight became bitter, with a well-funded effort by a group of employees seeking a change in  Delaware law to allow a cooling off period for such purchases.

The state’s corporate legal community –  fearing lobbying efforts against unpopular Chancery decisions –   opposed to a legislative solution.  The effort by Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware included ads in other states questioning the legal environment in the First State.

No one is betting against Elting fighting the deal, given the bitterness that surrounded the dispute

Her case may be undercut by the fact that HIG paid about $360 million for Lionbridge, said to be larger than TransPerfect.  Elting will reportedly clear a bit less than $300 million for her 50 percent stake in TransPerfect. That’s not a bad deal.

Enjoy your weekend, even if you did not have a $300 million payday.  The newsletter returns on Monday. – Doug Rainey, Publisher