Judge approves sale of TransPerfect to co-founder Phil Shawe


Judge approves sale of TransPerfect to co-founder Phil Shawe

In what may finally mark the end of the long war for TransPerfect, a Delaware judge agreed that co-founder Phil Shawe will buy out his business partner and former fiancé, Liz Elting.

"No sale process is perfect," Chancery Court Judge Andre Bouchard observed in his ruling handed down Thursday, "and this one certainly presented challenges."

Manhattan-based TransPerfect is the nation's largest independent translations company, with about $500 million in annual revenue and 4,000 employees. It was founded by Shawe and Elting out of their NYU dorm room in 1992 and a few years later the pair were engaged before Elting called it off. They continued working together, but in 2014 years of internal bickering burst out in the open when they sued each other for malfeasance and mismanagement.

In 2015, Judge Bouchard ruled that the two parties were hopelessly deadlocked and ordered a sale of their thriving business. About 20 bidders tried to acquire TransPerfect, according to court records, including the owner of the firm's leading competitor, Lionbridge Technologies. But late last year an attorney hired by the court decided that Shawe made the best offer and awarded him the company. Elting had teamed up with private equity giant Blackstone Group to buy Transperfect and filed a motion to block the sale to Shawe, but the judge ruled against her on Thursday.

In the end, Elting will receive $287 million after taxes for her 50% stake. A spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement, Shawe said he looked forward to getting past the years of nasty and personal litigation with his former partner. "The next chapter of TransPerfect's history will usher in a future of prosperity that is even bigger and brighter than our illustrious past," he said.

Judge Bouchard added it was his "fervent hope" that Elting would accept his decision "so that all concerned can move on with their lives."


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