NDS and Cisco have confirmed the latter’s $5 billion purchase of the CA and DRM specialist. In 2009, News Corp and private equity company Permira paid $3.6 billion to take the firm private – 51 per cent had been floated, netting News Corp $1.2 billion in 2008.
NDS was an Israeli start up bought by News in 1992 and then spun off to a separate public company. It provides services to BSkyB, Sky Italia, Sky Deutschland and DirecTV, among others.
The sale of NDS is in line with BSkyB chief operating officer Chase Carey’s goal of moving News Corporation out of businesses it does not fully control. For Cisco, it will boost its presence in emerging markets such as India and China.
The Guardian reports the sale has also come just ahead of the BBC’s Panorama programme returning to accusations made in 2002 when Canal + filed suit in the US claiming NDS had hacked smart cards used by its Italian operation. NDS dismissed the claims as baseless at the time, the suit was dropped when News acquired Canal+ in Italy to form Sky Italia.