NRF advises ASX-listed Appen in UK acquisition

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Norton Rose Fulbright has advised ASX-listed firm Appen Limited on its acquisition of 100% of the shares in Mendip Media Group Limited (MMG), a specialised secure transcription service firm in the UK.
Partner Ben Smits led the Norton Rose Fulbright team. He was assisted in Sydney by associate Mitchell Kelly and in London by Nari Armaly and Nathaniel Gordon.
“It was very rewarding to assist Appen on yet another strategic acquisition. Secure transcription is a fundamental issue for sensitive government information and this transaction will allow Appen to position itself as a market leader in both the UK and Europe,” Smits said.
Appen is a global language technology solutions provider with capability in over 180 languages and 130 countries, serving global technology companies, automakers and government agencies.
MMG is a provider of secure transcription services in the UK.  For two decades, the company has been providing transcription services at a range of security levels to government departments, the UK Crown and County Courts, the UK police services and corporate clients.
In recent years, it has expanded its client base through contracts with the United Nations, Ministry of Justice and several secure agencies. 
“This acquisition, while not large, is focused and highly strategic for Appen. Firstly, it secures the services of MMG, a critical subcontractor for our specialised government work, secondly, MMG provides a highly secure capability which allows us to cement and grow our position in secure transcription,” Mark Brayan, Appen CEO, said in a statement to the ASX.
“Lastly, it establishes a growth platform for Appen in the UK and throughout Europe. We’re very pleased to welcome all of MMG’s staff and customers to Appen,” he added.
Appen said that MMG is an expert in its niche in which barriers to entry are higher but margins are stronger.

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