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Eliminating document language barriers in M&A due diligence

Scott Snyder | May 30, 2018

Regardless of the geography or language of a potential M&A transaction, a critical outcome of comprehensive due diligence is the mitigation of risk, for both the buyer and the seller. That challenge is even more acute when the transaction involves review of documents in several languages.

Accordingly, if the data room technology being employed isn’t accurately indexing documents in their native language, critical files essential to deal evaluation are likely to be missed. This introduces very real risk into every phase of due diligence.

Think of it this way, if you are searching for the term “Change of Control” across 150,000 documents in a data room, most providers will have only processed those document in English, meaning your search results will be limited to just the documents where that phrase was captured in English. But what if that same phrase was on several hundred French documents as “Changement de contrôle”? Those documents would never be presented during the search results, and likely never highlighted for review.


With this new feature, DatasiteOne can now process those French language documents, in French. A search for “Changement de contrôle” will accurately return those relevant documents in the search results.

The March 2018 introduction of DatasiteOne, the only SaaS app for due diligence, has been met with tremendous market enthusiasm, exceeding even our most optimistic expectations. Professionals in 92 countries are already using DatasiteOne – from France and Germany to Egypt and Norway. Because of DatasiteOne’s security, speed, and ease of use, global workflows have never been easier. In fact, already 12% of projects on DatasiteOne include two or more administrators working from different countries.

Optical Character Recognition

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and robust search tools are two of the factors that have made DatasiteOne such an outstanding technology. These capabilities directly address the risk and stresses of the comprehensive cross-language due diligence and offer an intuitive, fast, and secure solution. Already with the industry’s fastest OCR processing engine, we have now applied that speed and capability to documents in ten additional languages.


DatasiteOne OCR and search tools now operate across documents in:

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Russian
  • Chinese - Simplified
  • Chinese - Traditional
  • Japanese
  • Korean

This ability to OCR in multiple languages and conduct in-language search queries, further increases the ability for buyers and sellers to accurately assess potential transactions across languages, directly inside the DatasiteOne M&A app.

“Supporting search and Optical Character Recognition in multiple languages provides a mechanism for data room administrators to process documents in another language, as well as associated character sets, so that the search functionality becomes ‘smart’ and presents users with relevant results for those languages,” said Jonathan Swatkowski, Merrill Product Manager.

Merrill’s half-century of global expertise, and commitment to forward-thinking technology, provides the resources to make the high-stress, high-risk world of due diligence more manageable. Aligning that technology with industry leading customer service, including 24/7/365 expert service available in 14 languages by phone, email, chat, and in-person, helps our customers secure success.

Learn More

Alexandra Caldwell-Wenmann, Merrill DatasiteOne Product Manager, shares the product development perspective to localizing the DatasiteOne app. She shares how her team is overcoming the challenge of maintaining the localization requirements, while the team continuous delivers new features and functionality through an agile product development methodology.

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