SDL plc

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Company typePublic
IndustryComputer software
Professional services
Language localization
Component content management
Digital asset management
HeadquartersMaidenhead, UK
Key people
Adolfo Hernandez (chief executive officer)
Revenue£376.3 million (2019)[1]
£29.7 million (2019)[1]
£19.6 million (2019)[1]
Number of employees
4,242 (2019)[1]

SDL plc was a multinational professional services company headquartered in Maidenhead, United Kingdom. SDL specialized in language translation software and services (including interpretation services). It was listed on the London Stock Exchange until it was acquired by RWS Group in November 2020.


SDL is an abbreviation for "Software and Documentation Localization".[2][3]


The company was founded by Mark Lancaster with nine employees in 1992. It opened its first overseas office in France in 1996[4] and was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1999.[4] The company grew organically and via acquisitions. SDL acquired Polylang Multimedia in 1998, International Translation & Publishing (ITP) in 2000, Alpnet in 2001, and the machine translation (MT) assets of Transparent Language in 2001. It bought Trados, a rival translation memory (TM) developer, in 2005.[5] In 2007, the company acquired Tridion, a content management system vendor,[6] and PASS Engineering, developers of the Passolo software.[7]

In 2008, it bought Idiom Technologies, a global information system management business.[8] In July 2009 SDL acquired XyEnterprise in an all-cash transaction to add XML Professional Publisher as well as Contenta content management software and LiveContent to manage and deliver XML. This unit combined with Trisoft formerly Infoshare.[9] In December 2009, SDL acquired Fredhopper, a Dutch eCommerce onsite search and navigation, onsite targeting and targeted advertising software vendor.[10] Later that same year, it bought Xopus, another Dutch company and the leader in online XML editing.[11] In May 2011 SDL acquired Dutch-based Media Asset Management company, Calamares,[12] in 2012 the campaign management and social media analytics company, Alterian,[13] and in 2013, bemoko, a supplier of internet software for mobile devices.[14]

In January 2016, having undertaken a strategic review, SDL announced the divestment of Fredhopper and Alterian as non-complementary to its new strategy.[15]

In August 2020 RWS Group announced a proposed takeover of the company for £809 million.[16] The transaction was completed on 4 November 2020.[17]


SDL provided software for language translation purposes.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2019" (PDF). SDL plc. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  2. ^ "What is the acronym of "SDL" in SDL Tridion". Retrieved 20 March 2015.
  3. ^ Rogers, Bruce. "SDL's Acquisitions Build Marketing Tech Stack of the Future". Forbes. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b SDL International: History Archived 10 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ SDL buys Trados Columbus Translation Blog, 20 June 2015
  6. ^ Real Story Group: SDL acquires Tridion Real Story Group, 24 April 2007
  7. ^ PASSOLO goes SDL Tekom, May 2007
  8. ^ SDL buys again picking up Idiom Archived 2009-12-14 at the Wayback Machine Real Story Group, 11 February 2008
  9. ^ SDL acquires XyEnterprise, KMWorld 2009
  10. ^ Company Overview of Fredhopper Ltd., Businessweek
  11. ^ SDL acquires XML editor Xopus Real Story Group, 6 July 2010
  12. ^ SDL Acquires DAM Vendor Calamares: Start Of The Convergence Of WCM & DAM? DAM News, 5 May 2011
  13. ^ SDL to buy Alterian after raising bid The Independent, 3 December 2011
  14. ^ SDL plc Acquisition of bemoko Archived 24 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "SDL Announces Major Strategy Shift, Puts Units Up For Sale". 21 January 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  16. ^ "RWS adds translation software to the portfolio with £809m SDL deal". Financial Times. 27 August 2020.
  17. ^ "Update on All-Share Combination" (PDF). RWS. 4 November 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  18. ^ SDL offices around the globe