US multinational corporation Cisco Systems announced Thursday its intent to
acquire Israeli-founded multi-channel television software developer NDS for about
NDS was established by a group of Weizmann Institute
scientists in 1988 and is owned by European privateequity firm Permira (51
percent) and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (49%). Its headquarters are situated
just outside of London, but more than one-quarter of its 5,000 employees, about
1,300, work at its Jerusalem R&D center.
Several of its founding
members were English-speaking immigrants, and its Jerusalem center has
traditionally employed a high proportion of English speakers, many of them
It specializes in developing systems for protection and
delivery of content to digital TVs, set-top boxes, computers and mobile
Its clients include many of the world’s largest cable, satellite
and broadband pay-TV operators, including BSkyB, Canal Plus, China Central
Television and Vodafone.
The cost of the acquisition is almost 40% higher
than NDS’s value when it was delisted from the NASDAQ in 2009. Cisco said it
expects the acquisition, which has been approved by the boards of directors of
both companies, to close during the second half of 2012.
completion of the transaction, NDS’s global operations, including sites in the
UK, Israel, France, India and China, will join Cisco’s Video Technology Group,
led by senior vice president and general manager Jesper Andersen.
said the acquisition would accelerate the delivery of Videoscape, its platform
that enables service providers and media companies to deliver next-generation
NDS’s Israeli chairman Abe Peled will become a
Cisco senior vice president and chief strategist for its video technology group.
Business daily Calcalist reported that the negotiations over the sale set the
backdrop for Peled’s retirement as CEO and shift to the position of chairman
“Cisco and NDS are helping drive the transition that will
enable service providers and media companies to offer new revenue-generating
video experiences,” Peled said.
“NDS’s open-software video platform and
services are highly complementary to Cisco technology, and together we are
uniquely positioned to enable service providers to deliver fresh and exciting
multi-screen video services to their customers.”
Finance Minister Yuval
Steinitz said he viewed the acquisition as another statement of confidence in
the future of Israeli hi-tech, following recent investments by multinational
corporations Apple, Intel, Citibank, Barclays and Lenovo.