Cisco to acquire News Corp technology arm NDS for US$5bn

15 Mar 2012

Cisco has today announced its intent to acquire NDS Group in a deal worth US$5bn. The move will see Cisco expand its software used in next-generation video services.

NDS is jointly owned by News Corp and private equity firm Permira. Headquartered in Staines in the UK, it is a provider of end-to-end software solutions for the pay television industry. It was set up in 1988 as an Israeli start-up. News Corp acquired NDS in 1992. Permira has a circa 51pc stake in NDS, with News Corp holding the remaining stake.

NDS targets service providers and media companies to help them deliver and monetise new video entertainment experiences.

Cisco said today in a statement that the acquisition of NDS will “complement and accelerate” the delivery of its platform Videoscape.

It said the acquisition of NDS will also broaden its opportunities in the service provider market. NDS already has an established customer footprint in emerging markets, such as China and India.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco said it would pay around US$5bn, including the assumption of debt and retention-based incentives, to acquire all of the business and operations of NDS.

The acquisition has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, Cisco said.

The acquisition is expected to close during the second half of calendar year 2012, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory review in the US and elsewhere, Cisco confirmed.

“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 monetisation opportunities and service differentiation,” said John Chambers, chairman and CEO, Cisco, today.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic