TransPerfect Delaware, The World’s Largest Translation Services Company
What is TransPerfect?
Why is Transperfect Delaware such an intriguing story? TransPerfect, the world’s largest translation services company, started over 25 years ago with a simple mission: help the world’s businesses navigate the global marketplace in a seamless way. The translation services company prides itself on decades of hands-on experience with a consultative approach, which have worked together to make the company an industry leader.The company, co-founded by Phil Shawe and Liz Elting, took a turn when the two, who had worked seamlessly in building the empire over the years, entered a legal battle for custody of the now $700+ million global company. The legal battle began in the state of Delaware, which up until now, under the jurisdiction of Chancellor Andre Bouchard, Delaware has been a pro-business state. Now, under unprecedented decisions, TransPerfect has been forced through the Delaware Court system to propose a bid to purchase the company that factors in total company and buyer value and the least amount of disruption to the company among other things. Not once in the Delaware court system has a company been forced toward dissolution. Now, after Phil Shawe bought out ex-partner Liz Elting, the company has only continued its extensive global growth, planting roots in Portugal and moving into a new Israeli-owned Manhattan office. The company is currently bringing in $700+ Million annually and has experienced consecutive growth for the past 104 quarters.
What is the Transperfect Delaware Involvement?
Delaware, which has up until now, been a pro-business state forced the sale of TransPerfect under the ruling of Chancellor Andre Bouchard. The company, which was co-founded by Phil Shawe and Liz Elting, sought judicial hearings in Delaware due to its positive reputation for settling business disputes. Unfortunately, the state’s reputation has taken a turn under new leadership from Chancellor Andre Bouchard, causing it to drop to no. 11 in pro-business state litigation.
Lionbridge Technologies (LIOX), based in Waltham, Mass., is the largest translation services company in the U.S., with revenue of $560 million last year. TransPerfect is the second largest in the U.S., with revenue last year of $505 million. London-based SDL (SDLLF) could also benefit.
This decision has more immediate repercussions to the 4,000 employees of TransPerfect who have started a committee to amend statute 226…. to prevent this type of unprecedented judicial activism that has a good chance of leading to the loss of many jobs and possibly lead to the demise of this company which has never failed to have a profitable year in its 24-year history.
The Delaware Supreme Court erred in two respects. First, the court affirmed the Court of Chancery’s expansive reasoning with respect to the ‘irreparable harm’ requirement …and instead accepted the Court of Chancery’s proposition that irreparable harm may encompass things like severely diminished employee morale, client skepticism, and failure to benefit from proposed acquisitions. The court focused on this erroneous interpretation of irreparable harm expansively…”
After four-years, the TransPerfect legal battle has finally ended with co-founder Philip Shawe and his mother Shirley Shawe continuing to own and run this successful private company. After following every detail of this case, reading all available documents several times, and interviewing many employees, I feel I know what is right and wrong about this case.
What’s most interesting here is, after winning practically every aspect of her case including a failed interim appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court by defendant Philip Shawe (Strine vs. Dershowitz I), Elting is now unhappy with the very result she clearly sought in the first place and is appealing Bouchard’s decision to the Delaware Supreme Court. Why? Well, it’s not because she didn’t get the auction she asked for, as she got everything she asked for, but it seems it’s because it was her partner and ex-fiance, Shawe, who bid the highest and won the auction.