Espial buys ANT in £5m deal

Espial Group has agreed to buy troubled Cambridge software developer ANT in a deal worth just £5 million (€6.16 million).

The 0.205 per share offer already has the support of ANT’s board of directors who are recommending that shareholders accept the offer. Espial has already received irrevocable undertakings to vote in favour of the acquisition from holders of 47% of ANT’s outstanding shares. It is expected the acquisition will close in Q1 2013.

“Multiscreen video services on set-top boxes, smart TVs, tablets, PCs and smart phones are quickly becoming the new expectation for today’s consumers. Delivering a superior user experience across these devices is a critical element to the success of TV service providers” said Jaison Dolvane, CEO of Espial. “The acquisition of ANT provides Espial with the increased scale, resources and depth of experience to extend our HTML5 market leadership.”

Espial believes it can offer increased scale and resources to deliver improved HTML5 user experiences and expand its customer footprint.

“The TV market has continuously evolved to bring an ever richer set of video services to consumers over managed networks and the open Internet to a wide range of consumer devices” said Royston Hoggarth, chairman of ANT. “The combination of Espial and ANT provides the increased scale and HTML5 expertise for Espial to further its leadership position in this very valuable market. We believe the combination of these two market leaders will benefit and help intercept the growth of this market”.

ANT is supplying its software to the Freesat G2 (free time) platform and Harvard’s View 21 connected DTT box.

In September the company put itself on the market having split from long-time CEO Simon Woodward the previous month.