Cisco Systems (CSCO) this morning announced it will purchase the U.K.’s privately held NDS Group Ltd., makers of cable operator gear, including set-top boxes, for $5 billion, including the assumption of debt and including retention-based incentives.
Cisco shares are down 16 cents, or 0.8% at $20.04 in pre-market trading.
Cisco said the acquisition will help advance its efforts to deliver service providers and media companies a “comprehensive platform” that they can use to deliver a “next-generation entertainment experience.”
Cisco also believes the deal will extend its exposure to service provider markets such as China and India.
NDS executive chairman Abe Peled will become a Cisco senior vice president and chief strategist for video and collaboration, the companies said.
Cisco mentioned in its announcement the rough outlines of how it thinks about the valuation of the deal:
In terms of valuation, on a forward-looking basis, the acquisition is generally in line with the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) multiples paid when NDS was taken private in 2009, and is within the multiples ranges for comparable deals, including Cisco’s acquisition of Tandberg.
Cisco will host a conference call to discuss the deal at 9 am, Pacific time, and you can catch the webcast of it here. There is also a blog post by Cisco this morning discussing the rationale for the deal, or at least, laying out the context, I suppose.