Ericsson to acquire former BBC Broadcast division Red Bee Media

Ericsson, the world's largest telecoms equipment maker, today said that it will acquire Red Bee Media, the former BBC Broadcast division, from an entity controlled by Macquarie Advanced Investment Partners, for an undisclosed sum.

London-based Red Bee Media was created by the BBC in 2002, by putting a range of BBC channel creation and channel management services under one roof.

Working with broadcasters, content owners, platform operators and brands, Red Bee Media provides a range of services, from media asset management to playout and digital video publishing, metadata services, multilingual access services and creative services to major broadcasters and broadband platforms.

Known for its high quality playout services, Red Bee Media is also the largest editorial metadata provider in Europe, delivers more than 100,000 hours of subtitling per year for leading broadcasters.

Its clients include BBC, Al Jazeera, Bacardi Global Brands, Bang & Olufsen, ESPN, Discovery Channel, Audi, Chello Central Europe, CNBC Europe, Microsoft and others.

Ericsson said it would move its television division headquarters from Stockholm to London to tap into the city's growing reputation for innovation in the sector.

With 1,240 of Red Bee Media employees being based in the UK, Ericsson's UK business would grow to around 4,000 employees.

The Television and Media industry is undergoing an unprecedented transformation driven by consumers' appetite for rich, interactive, anytime, anywhere entertainment. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report June 2013 release, video is the single biggest contributor to traffic in mobile networks and this is expected to grow 60 per cent annually until the end of 2018.

"Ericsson is making a step change to our business, cementing our commitment to TV and broadcast services and continuing a journey we started in 2007," said Magnus Mandersson, executive vice president and head of business unit global services, Ericsson.