NDS buys CastUp; delivers profitable year

Tue, 08/07/2007 - 8:11am
Mike Robuck

NDS Group, which is a provider of interactive TV and conditional access solutions, is looking to strengthen its hand in bringing video to broadband markets by purchasing CastUp for $11.3 million plus additional payments to employees and senior management.

NDS, which is majority-owned by News Corporation, announced the acquisition today along with its fiscal year-end results.

CastUp, through its subsidiary in Israel, provides an end-to-end solution for the acquisition, processing, distribution and serving  of media content over IP, particularly video and audio over the Internet.

Customers include he Israeli subsidiaries of HP, Amdocs, MTV and Blockbuster, as well as TV and media companies in Israel.

The deal will bolster NDS’ online video delivery and help its current pay-TV customers expand their broadband video distribution services. CastUp's technology will also help NDS to develop new enhanced services and applications for broadband enabled set-top boxes.

"We are very excited about the possibilities for new and comprehensive solutions for the delivery, management, and control of online media assets,” said Dr Abe Peled, NDS chairman and CEO, in a prepared statement. “We believe that NDS' market-leading experience in securely delivering digital content, and our global presence will combine with CastUp's proven technology to allow us to continue to enhance the businesses of our media and entertainment customers."

CastUp will continue to operate as a separate unit within NDS under the leadership of the current management team. The CastUp deal is expected to close in first quarter of next year.

For the fiscal year that ended June 30, NDS reported that its earning were up 18 percent to $709 million compared to $600 million the year before. NDS’ operating income increased from $130.7 million in 2006 to $160.4 million in fiscal year 2007.

Smart card deliveries were at 26.3 million after posting 24.4 million in 2006 while middleware clients deployed decreased from 21.2 million in 2006 to 18.2 million in 2007. NDS cited a large order by DirecTV at the beginning of 2006 as one reason for the drop off in middleware clients in 2007. NDS said the increased sales for smart cards were largely due to new customers in Europe, China and India.

The company’s DVR clients reached 3.8 million deployments in 2007 after posting 2.1 million the previous year. NDS has a total of 7.3 million DVR clients deployed.

“We are pleased with our outstanding security record and with the adoption of our new technologies by our current customers, the most prominent being our DVR technology, now being shipped in 14 accounts across the world, with the fiscal 2007 number close to double the fiscal 2006 number,” Peled said.


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