Cisco in talks to buy NDS for $5 billion: report

Networking-equipment giant Cisco Systems is in talks to acquire London-based software developer for multi-channel television networks NDS, for $5 billion, Israel's Calcalist financial newspaper today reported.

Founded by a group of 10 scientists of the Weizmann Institute in Israel in 1988, NDS is 51-per cent owned by European private equity firm Permira and 49 per cent by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

NDS develops interactive systems for digital TVs, digital set-top boxes, PCs and mobile devices. NDS also provides electronic security solutions for web applications.

The company's flagship product is the VideoGuard encrypted access system, which is used by more than 85 leading pay TV operators around the world.

VideoGuard allows TV operators to extend their pay-TV services to connected media devices, enabling secure delivery of premium content over both managed and OTT networks while maintaining subscription privileges across devices.

Its MediaHighway set-top-box software has been deployed in more than 180 million set-top boxes, while its XTV PVR/DVR technology is used by more than 20 operators in more than 35 million set-top-boxes.

Its clients include many of the largest cable, satellite and broadband pay-TV operators, including Astro, Bharti, BSkyB, Canal Plus, China Central Television, Cox, DIRECTV, Kabel Deutschland, Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia, TataSky, UPC (a unit of Liberty Global) and Vodafone.

San Jose, California-based Cisco, which has made 148 acquisitions until March 2011, the proposed purchase of NDS would be its fourth-largest to date.