Cisco to Buy NDS for $5 Billion: Israeli Report

   on March 15 2012 7:52 AM
A man looks at his mobile next to a Cisco banner at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 17, 2010.
A man looks at his mobile next to a Cisco banner at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 17, 2010. Reuters

(Reuters) - NDS, which develops software for multi-channel television networks, is in advanced talks to be acquired by Cisco Systems for $5 billion, Israel's Calcalist financial newspaper reported on Thursday.

Founded in Israel in 1988 and headquartered in London, NDS is 51 percent owned by the Permira private equity fund and 49 percent by News Corp. It maintains a large research and development centre in Jerusalem.

Officials at NDS in Jerusalem could not immediately be reached for comment.

The deal's value is about 35 percent higher than NDS's value when it was delisted from the stock exchange in 2009, Calcalist said.

It is believed that negotiations between the parties set the backdrop for the retirement of chief executive Abe Peled in July. Peled, the Israeli who headed the company for 16 years, was named chairman of the company instead.

NDS specializes in the development of interactive systems for secure delivery of entertainment and information to 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 its encryption and conditional access system called VideoGuard, which is installed on home TVs via smartcards integrated into set-top boxes.

NDS's products are at the heart of News Corp's technological infrastructure - the company's coding system allows it to control the channels provided to each subscriber on multi-channel TV as well as billing.

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