Martin McKay

Texthelp is making use of its new private equity parent’s chequebook, snapping up Lingit Group, a Norwegian literacy and accessibility technology provider, from Verdane.

Texthelp, also a literacy and accessibility technology provider that Rothschild & Co-owned Five Arrows acquired in December, completed its takeover of Lingit on 9 March.

The deal underscores Five Arrow’s ambitions to rapidly scale Texthelp via M&A.

Verdane will retain a minority stake in the combined group.

Together, Texthelp and Lingit will offer a wider and improved range of assistive technologies to their customers in the UK, USA and Australia, Texthelp said in a statement.

Lingit will also be able to provide Texthelp Maths products to its customers for the first time.

Martin McKay, founder and chief executive of Texthelp, said: “Lingit is already helping millions of people, and together we can make an impact on even more people’s lives. We want to continue to provide disabled students with the wide choice of tools currently available to them and improve their user experience. In the future, our combined expertise and reach will drive more rapid product improvements for many more people around the world.”

Frode Thulien, chief executive of Lingit, commented: “This is a really exciting moment for the Lingit Group as we join forces with Texthelp. Purpose has always been at the heart of what we do, and this deal will enable us to bring our products to a wider audience around the world, helping more students benefit from our software. I am looking forward to working with Martin and the team in the coming months as we focus on our joint ambition of creating equal opportunities for all.”

Joakim Kjemperud, principal at Verdane, said: “We want to thank Frode and the Lingit Group team for an exciting growth journey together. Since partnering with Verdane in 2017, Lingit has grown from Norway’s leading provider of reading and writing support software to Northern Europe’s preferred software platform for smart, inclusive technology that helps people read, write and express their thoughts and share information more accurately and fluently across all stages of life.

“In just four years, Lingit’s annual number of licenses sold has grown more than sixfold. In partnership with the stellar team at Texthelp, this important enterprise to create equal opportunities for all enters its next stage of growth, to the benefit of avid readers and writers across Northern Europe.”

Date published: 10 March 2021

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