News Corp and Permira, the European private equity group, have hired banks to arrange a New York listing of digital pay-TV technology specialist NDS, which they jointly own, reports the FT. JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have been appointed to assist with the Initial Public Offering, following meetings in New York in recent weeks, reports suggest.
A source close to Permira suggested that the decision to float NDS – of which Permira holds 51 per cent, and News Corp the remainder – is unrelated to the phone-hacking scandal that has seen News Corp ‘s News International UK subsidiary close its New of the World Sunday newspaper as well as withdrawing its bid for the stake in BSkyB it didn’t already own. It is unclear as how much is intended to be raised or on what exchange. It traded on Nasdaq before being taken private in 2009, at a valuation of $3.6 billion. Bankers suggest that NDS is likely to be valued significantly in excess of that sum.
Before NDS was taken private, News Corp held 72 per cent of NDS’s equity, and 96 per cent of the voting rights. News Corp received $1.52 billion in cash and a $242 million vendor loan note from Permira.
Abe Peled, NDS’s chairman and chief executive, was reported as saying in 2010 that the company planned to list on the London Stock Exchange in 2012, with a likely valuation of £2.4 billion. China was also considered for a secondary listing, should NDS’s presence there merit it.