Cisco has agreed a $5bn (£3.2bn) deal to acquire UK-based video software specialist NDS Group.
The deal, which has been approved by both boards, includes the acquisition of debt and retention-based incentives, as well as the entirety of the Staines-based vendor's business. Cisco claimed the deal will speed up the development of Videoscape, its platform for providing service providers with "next-generation entertainment experiences".
In addition to its UK operations, which also include offices in Hampshire and Berkshire, NDS runs outposts across Europe, North America and Asia. Cisco said the buyout will give it a beefier presence in key markets like China and India.
Cisco chief executive John Chambers (pictured below) said: "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."
In its most recently available results, NDS Group Ltd's sales for the year to 30 June 2010 grew 16 per cent to $943.5m (£600m), while pre-tax profit stood at $143m, compared with a $30m-plus loss in 2009.
The acquisition is projected to close during the second half of this year and, upon completion, NDS and its 5,000 staff will be slotted into Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group (SPVTG). NDS executive chairman Abe Peled will assume a post as senior vice president of Cisco's Video & Collaboration Group, of which SPVTG is a part.
"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 its customers," said Peled.
"A key component of NDS' success has been our open software and services model, working with a wide range of set-top box manufacturers to enable greater choice for our customers. Following the acquisition, this strategy will continue and expand the choice of hardware solutions available to service providers worldwide."
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