Cisco to buy UK video software firm NDS for $5 bn news
16 March 2012

Cisco Systems, the world's largest maker of telecom networking equipment, yesterday struck a $5 billion deal to buy software developer for multi-channel television networks NDS Group.

The proposed purchase of NDS would be Cisco's s fourth-largest to date, and 153rd since 1993. Cisco, which was founded in 1984, did not make any acquisitions for the first eight years of its existence, but currently, acquisitions constitute 50 per cent of the company.

Founded by a group of 10 scientists from 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, who took it private in 2009 in a deal that then valued NDS at $3.6 billion.

London-based NDS develops interactive software that enables cable and satellite operators to deliver video securely to television set-top boxes, PCs, mobile handsets and other 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.

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.

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Cisco to buy UK video software firm NDS for $5 bn