Espial considers strategic alternatives

On-demand TV solutions specialist Espial Group has revealed that its Board of Directors has initiated a process to review a range of potential strategic alternatives available to Espial for enhancing shareholder value. A Special Committee has been established to lead this process and has retained Morgan Keegan as its financial advisor to provide independent advice.

The Company believes that the success of OTT service providers such as Netflix demonstrates the value of on-demand and interactive TV. It says that such services, along with increased competition in TV service providers, increase pressure on incumbent pay-TV operators, telcos, cable and satellite operators to deliver next generation on-demand video services across multiple screens and networks.

Espial says that this increased activity with service providers, coupled with a strong desire for Consumer Electronic manufacturers to offer Internet video and web capabilities on their devices is increasing demand for its products and broadening its customer base.

The company notes research that by 2015, multi-screen services will more than triple and reach 256 million pay TV subscribers, and that connected TV shipments are also slated to grow to over 100 million units per year by 2014; pay-TV operators globally are also in the process of upgrading their television platforms that today serve over 500 million subscribers. “There is significant activity in this very valuable market and consolidation is a key element to drive scale,” says Espial.

Espial does not intend to disclose developments with respect to the strategic review process unless and until its Board of Directors has approved any specific course of action.

The company’s last involvement in industry consolidation came in July 2008 when it acquired IP video delivery specialist Kasenna; this time, the strategic review could result in the company seeking a buyer.

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