News Corp., Permira sign deal to buy remaining stake in NDS
News Corp. and private equity firm Permira Advisors said today that they’ve signed an agreement to buyout News Corp. subsidiary NDS Group in order to take it private.
News Corp. currently has a 72 percent stake in NDS, but if the deal with Permira goes through it would have a 49 percent stake, while Permira would own 51 percent. The deal to take NDS from being a public to a private company is expected to close either late this year or early next year.
News Corp. and Permira have offered $63 per share in cash for NDS, which the independent committee of the NDS’ board of directors approved on Aug. 5 and will recommend to shareholders. The deal still needs to pass shareholder and regulatory muster in England and Wales.
NDS has been working to gain entry with North American cable operators. Earlier this year, Cox Communications announced that it was working with NDS Group to design a new set-top box interface that will allow Cox’s digital customers to access all of their digital TV services through a single, interactive user interface (story here).
Cox, the nation’s third-largest cable operator, has designed an interactive user interface (UI) for existing and new set-top boxes that it said will be deployed widely sometime next year. Cox said the new UI, which replaces the Aptiv guide developed by Gemstar-TV Guide, is compatible with most of its existing set-top boxes and was designed to be compatible with tru2way-enabled services.
The NDS interface will start out on Cox’s OnRamp deployments with the goal of moving it over to tru2way once Cox’s network is ready.
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