Ericsson announced today that had agreed to buy Red Bee Media in an effort to bolster its broadcast services division.
Ericsson is buying Red Bee, which is based in the United Kingdom, from a group that was led by Macquarie Advanced Investment Partners. Financial terns of the deal weren’t released. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and no timeframe was given on when it’s expected to close.
Red Bee will add its 1,500 employees into Ericsson’s roster as well as media services and operations facilities in the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Australia.
Ericsson said the deal would further strengthen its broadcast services business, which was started in 2007 and expanded last year when it bought Technicolor's Broadcast Services Division for $25 million.
With 1,240 of Red Bee Media employees being based in the in the United Kingdom, Ericsson' said its U.K. business would grow to around 4,000 employees. With more than one-third working in the media services business, Ericsson said the U.K. operation would become a global media hub.
Red Bee, which was founded in 2005, provides a range of media services; from media asset management to playout and digital video publishing, metadata services, multilingual access services and creative services to major broadcasters and broadband platforms.
Red Bee claims to be the largest editorial metadata provider in Europe, with the delivery of more than 100,000 hours of subtitling per year for leading broadcasters. Red Bee’s customer list includes British Broadcasting Group, British Sky Broadcasting Group, CNBC Europe, ESPN, UPC, Disney, Liberty Global, PBS, Discovery Channel, MTV, QVC, and Orange.
"Ericsson is making a step change to our business, cementing our commitment to TV and broadcast services and continuing a journey we started in 2007," said Magnus Mandersson, executive vice president and head of business unit global services, Ericsson. "We can create value for broadcasters by making digital content more accessible, enabling monetization of TV content more efficiently. Video traffic shows very strong uptake in the mobile networks and Ericsson can address the need of both broadcasters and telecom operators through our technology expertise and services capabilities."
Two years ago Red Bee and Cisco teamed up to create an online video platform for media and broadcast companies. The video platform, which was called RedPlayer, was designed to deliver TV and other forms of digital media content online through streaming video players and video-on-demand (VOD) portals.