Guess this means Cisco won’t be selling its Atlantic-Scientific set-top box unit
By: Maureen O'Gara
Believing that the Internet is going to turn into one big
cloud-ified television set, Cisco said Thursday that it's going to buy
England's NDS Group for roughly $5 billion.
It's Cisco biggest acquisition since it bought Tandberg, the video
conferencing outfit, back in 2009 for $3.4 billion, and it's meant to
compensate for the lagging growth it's seeing in its core networks
According to a canned statement ascribed to Cisco CEO John Chambers
"Our strategy has always been driven by customer need and on capturing
market transitions. Our acquisition of NDS fits squarely into this
strategy enabling content and service providers to deliver new video
solutions that leverage the cloud and drive new monetization
opportunities and service differentiation."
NDS sells content streaming and protection software to service
providers and media companies so they can deliver and monetize video
entertainment. Subscribers can view, search and navigate digital content
anytime, anywhere and on any device or devices.
NDS has pushed into India and China, which suits Cisco to a "T."
The acquisition is supposed to complement Cisco's like-minded
Videoscape streaming platform and broaden its opportunities in the SP
Cisco will pay $4 billion for the company, which was taken private in
2008 by News Corp and Permira, a London-based private equity group.
It'll spend another billion assuming its debt and paying retention-based
incentives. The deal is expected to close during the second half and be
accretive on a non-GAAP basis in its first full year.
Guess this means Cisco won't be selling its Atlantic-Scientific set-top box business as speculated.
The NDS widgetry works with set-top boxes, DVRs, PCs and mobile devices.
Over 90 of the world's pay-TV platforms rely on its stuff including
British Sky Broadcasting, Canal Plus and DirecTV. Its middleware is on
214 million devices, its DRM in 125 million pay-TV households and its
DVR technology on 47 million devices. Evidently NDS contracts generally
run for a nice stable five years.
The operation with its 5,000 employees will become part of Cisco's
Service Provider Video Technology Group (SPVTG) under general manager
Jesper Andersen and NDS executive chairman Abe Peled will be chief
strategist of Cisco's Video & Collaboration Group. SPVTG is part of
that group. Peled will report to Marthin De Beer, head of the Video and