Permira, which is a private equity firm of the Media Empire News Corporation, has sold pay-TV encryption company NDS to Cisco for a whopping $5bn. NDS provides encryption technology for BSkyB. This acquisition makes London based company one of highest grossing investments of News Corporation in the last 20 years.
This acquisition comes in wake of all the allegations by a rival pay-TV, Canal+, that NDS spends large amount of money and resources to hack smart cards used by another company in Italy. NDS have however regarded the entire allegation as baseless and outrageous till News Corporation acquired the two firms and formed Sky Italia.
News Corp first reduced its stake on NDS to 49% from 67% in 2008 making a gain of $1.2bn and with the backing of Permira, bought the whole public holding for $3.6bn in 2009. With its sale, Permira is expected to make over $2bn which would make the private equity firm's initial investment of $900m a huge gain.
The Encryption software by NDS is used by one-third of all worlds’ pay-TV operators to deliver content to subscribers' digital video recorders, tablets, smart phones and other devices. This would enable Cisco to increase its hold over emerging markets like china and India.
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