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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wow! Cisco buying NDS for $5 billion

NDS (which I can recall being called News Datacom) is probably the largest company in the Har Hotzvim office park in northern Jerusalem. Just about every high tech person I know in Jerusalem has worked there - or has tried to work there - at some point in time. Now, NDS is getting a new owner: Cisco is purchasing NDS for $5 billion.
NDS was founded in 1988 in Jerusalem by a group of scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science. The company 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.

Talks between Cisco and Premira, which owns 51% of NDS, and the News Corp group, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch and owns 49% of the company, are in their final stages. The deal’s estimated value is about 35% higher than NDS’s value when it was delisted from the stock exchange in 2009.


The company’s flagship product is its encryption and conditional access system, VideoGuard, which is installed on home TVs via smartcards integrated into set-top boxes.

NDS’s solutions have been a magnet for foreign investors from its inception. In 1992, four years after it was founded, the company had its first moment of glory when it was acquired by News Corp for $15 million. In 1999, NDS achieved another milestone when Murdoch listed the company on NASDAQ.

Ten years later, the picture changed once again for the former Israeli company when the European Premira partnered with New Corp and the two acquired all of NDS’s outstanding shares for $3.7 billion. Following the move, NDS was delisted from NASDAQ.
Read the whole thing, and if you want to do some business, drop me an email.

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