Wood Mac chair leads Lingo24 deal

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Oil consultancy veteran Paul Gregory has led a consortium of business leaders to take a minority stake in Edinburgh translation company Lingo24.

Gregory, the chairman and former chief executive of Wood Mackenzie, will become chairman of the firm which has raised an invoice finance facility from Lloyds bank, in the “low millions”.

Christian Arno, Lingo24’s chief executive, set up the business in 2001 and has grown it into a global business with a £7.5 million turnover and offices in four continents. More than 60 per cent of business last year came from outside the UK.

High-profile clients include Adidas, American Express, Orange, Save the Children and the United Nations.

Gregory led Wood Mackenzie for 19 years until 2007. He led the management buy-out of the business in 2001 in a deal worth about £20m and it is now valued at about £1.1 billion.

He is also a former Chairman of Barrie & Hibbert, the risk management business, which was sold to the US credit ratings agency Moody’s in late 2011. He has been involved in a number of other non-executive director commitments.

He said: “I’ve known Christian and Lingo24 for almost two years now, and the company has significantly strengthened the management team in that time. Lingo24 has built an impressive platform for future growth in a £23 billion global market, and I’m looking forward to getting closely involved to help the company achieve its potential.”