Cisco piles into video acquisition game with $5bn offer for NDS


Cisco piles into video acquisition game with $5bn offer for NDS

Alex Scroxton

Just hours after rival Avaya swooped on Radvision, Cisco has piled in with a $5bn (£3.18bn) purchase of its own in the shape of video software and content security solutions developer NDS Group Ltd from current owners Permira and Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.

Staines-based NDS was established as a pay-TV technology specialist in Israel prior to its acquisition by principle customer News Corporation in the early 1990s. Its software platform and services offering create "differentiated video offerings" for service providers to improve the digital content experience across devices. 

Cisco plans to fold NDS into its Service Provider Video Technology Group, and said the acquired IP would boost its next-generation entertainment platform Videoscape, as well as turning the firm into a key part of its video strategy; it sees video as one of its five foundational priorities and has been outspoken in talking up the potential future impact of video on the network.

It will retain all of NDS' approximately 5,000 employees, including executive chairman Abe Peled, who will become senior vice president and chief strategy for Cisco's Video and Collaboration Group, reporting to the unit's SVP Marthin de Beer.

Cisco CEO John Chambers reiterated the company's focus on growth through his mantra of "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," he said.

The acquisition is expected to close during the second half of calendar year 2012, subject to the usual . The net impact to Cisco is expected to be accretive to EPS in the first full year on a non-GAAP basis.

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