Tobii Dynavox signs agreement to acquire Acapela Group, enabling innovation in communication aids

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STOCKHOLM, 28 October 2021 / PRNewswire / – Tobii AB (publ) (“Tobii”), through the wholly-owned subsidiary of Tobii Dynavox AB (“Tobii Dynavox”), the global leader in assistive communication technologies, today announced that its subsidiary, Tobii Dynavox, has entered into an agreement to acquire all the shares of the Belgian company Acapela Group Babel Technologies SA (“Acapela Group”). Tobii Dynavox is the world leader in assistive communication technologies. Acapela Group is a global provider of digital voice and AI-based text-to-speech software. Tobii Dynavox will pay € 9.8 million in cash and the transaction is subject to the approval of the relevant competition authorities and certain other conditions and is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2022.

Background

Acapela Group is a provider of text-to-speech and digital voice solutions in areas such as assistive technologies for communication, special education, public transport and customer interaction. Acapela Group’s robust technology platform, increasingly based on deep learning and artificial intelligence, enables the creation of very high quality personalized synthetic voices. Drawing on 30 years of expertise, strong partnerships and innovative development, Acapela Group has created a strong brand and valuable asset base, with over 200 high quality synthetic voices, available in over 30 languages. Acapela Group’s products are currently sold with ATC from Tobii Dynavox, as well as by many other companies in the field of ATC and other applications. The company has around fifty employees and is headquartered in Mons, Belgium. The turnover of the Acapela group in 2020 was approximately € 6 million with an EBIT margin of 14%.

Reasons for the acquisition

Tobii Dynavox considers that the first creation of value resulting from this acquisition results in particular from the innovation and the accelerated development of technologies and solutions for speech synthesis, as an essential element of the technologies of assistance to the communication. In addition, the acquisition creates the conditions for increased sales of the products of both companies.

“We continue our quest to give all people with communication disabilities a voice and the opportunity to be who they want to be,” says Fredrik ruben, CEO of Tobii Dynavox. “Tobii Dynavox and Acapela Group have been successful partners for many years. The merger will further deepen this relationship, providing great opportunities to create solutions that allow our users to create their own identity and be able to express themselves clearly, personally and effectively in the way they want. “

More authentic reproduction of human voices removes some of the stigma that can arise from using assistive technology for communication. In the field of voice technology, language systems and assistive technologies for communication software, there are a multitude of innovations that have not yet been realized. By working more closely together, Tobii Dynavox and Acapela Group can accelerate the pace of innovation and product development. Acapela Group’s products, incorporating high quality synthetic voices, will continue to be offered as stand-alone solutions to existing and new market participants. Likewise, Tobii Dynavox will continue to offer third-party products from other text-to-speech vendors in its solutions.

Tobii Dynavox and Acapela Group have very complementary areas of expertise. Tobii Dynavox’s main expertise is the development, sale and support of its clinically developed communication assistive technology, while Acapela Group’s main expertise is text-to-speech, increasingly using digital techniques. artificial intelligence and machine learning. By bringing together the expertise of these technologies, Tobii Dynavox can accelerate the development of its language systems.

Tobii Dynavox’s global sales network will provide the Acapela Group with opportunities to expand internationally. In the long run, joint revenue opportunities are also expected to be realized with Tobii Dynavox special education products and visual symbols.

“Tobii Dynavox and Acapela Group are very complementary companies with similar driving forces. Both companies were built around exceptional products aimed at providing the best possible life for people with functional impairments, ”said Rémy Cadic, CEO of the Acapela group. “We are proud of what we have accomplished as a company and look forward to taking another exciting step in our journey so that together with Tobii Dynavox we can accelerate our pace of product development and expansion. “

Purchase price, conditions and timing of the acquisition
Tobii, through its subsidiary Tobii Dynavox, today entered into an agreement with shareholders holding more than 80% of the voting rights, to acquire all of the shares of Acapela Group. The remaining shares will be acquired through a simplified offer to minority shareholders and, where applicable, a drag-along process for the latter. The total consideration for the purchase of all shares amounts to € 9.8 million, including cash and debts, and will be paid in cash. The net cash position of the Acapela Group at September 30, 2021 was approximately 2 million euros. Acapela Group acquisition is subject to relevant regulatory approvals, completion of the drag-along process and other customary conditions. The deal is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2022.

Invitation to a conference call
A conference call with the CEO of Tobii Dynavox Fredrik ruben, giving the opportunity to ask questions, will take place tomorrow, 29 october, To 9:00 a.m. CEST.

To watch the webcast, please click on this link.

This information is information that Tobii AB (publ) is obliged to make public in accordance with the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information has been submitted, through the contact person indicated below, for publication to 5:31 p.m. CEST, to 28 October 2021.

CONTACT:

Contact

Henrik Mawby, Head of Investor Relations, Tobii Group, Phone: +46 (0) 72 219 82 15, Email: [email protected]

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