Cisco Plots £3.2bn NDS Acquisition

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
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Cisco makes a £3.2bn bet on video with a proposed NDS acquisition

Cisco is set to acquire NDS Group in a $5 billion (£3.2bn) takeover deal that will bolster its Videoscape content delivery platform.

The networking giant said the acquisition would allow it to expand in emerging markets such as China and India, where NDS has a significant presence.

Close to completion

NDS’ properties will be used in the cloud-based Videoscape platform and Cisco claimed it will allow service providers and media companies to offer tailored, intuitive video offerings and make it easier for them to monetise content. Subscribers will be able to view, search and navigate digital content on any device, Cisco said.

The agreement has been approved by both companies’ board of directors and is expected to be concluded during the second half of 2012 depending on customary closing conditions and regulatory review in the US.

Cisco will assume NDS’ debt and retention-based incentives in order to acquire all business and operations. The two companies will operate as separate entities until the deal is finalised when it will be assimilated into Cisco.

“Our strategy has always been driven by customer need and on capturing market transitions,” said John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco. “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.”

Focus on video

“Cisco and NDS are helping drive the transition that will enable service providers and media companies to offer new revenue-generating video experiences,” added Dr Abe Peled, executive chairman of NPD. “NDS’ open software video platform and services are highly complementary to Cisco technology, and together we are uniquely positioned to enable service providers to deliver fresh and exciting multi-screen video services to their customers.”

Cisco said the acquisition reflects the company’s strategic focus on video as did October’s takeover of BNI video to strengthen Videoscape.

Last year, the company rolled out a new video distribution platform called the Enterprise Content Delivery System (ECDS) designed to help businesses manage and optimise the rapidly growing amount of video network traffic.

It has also expanded its videoconferencing offerings by launching a range of new and upgraded devices designed to give users the ability to collaborate via video.

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