Cisco is said to be close to purchasing the News Corp technology arm NDS in a deal worth $5 billion (€3.83 billion).
The Israeli financial daily Calcalist says the deal is expected to conclude in the next few days. It is believed to have been in the pipeline for several months and was the catalyst for the management transition that saw long-time CEO Dr Abe Peled move to the post of executive chairman to be replaced by former Sonic Solutions CEO David Habiger.
Contacted by Broadband TV News, NDS declined to comment on any possible transaction.
If completed the deal would become the latest in a series of financial shuffles for the company behind the Sky Go multiscreen product for BSkyB and Sky Deutschland, as well as the IP-delivered Sky Anytime+.
Only last December papers were filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering that would raise up to $100 million. Calcalist suggests Cisco will be paying a premium of some 35% on the value of NDS.
The purchase adds a new dynamic to Cisco that in February issued a statement saying it remained committed to set-top boxes following reports a sale was being planned for the former Scientific-Atlanta division.
Established in 1988, NDS was integrated into News Corp two years later, before being taken private between June 2008 (announced) and February 2009, when Permira became the controlling shareholder with a 51% stake.
NDS has more than 75 pay-TV customers worldwide, both inside and outside the News Corp group of companies. They include Comcast, DirecTV, Foxtel, Kabel Deutschland, Get, Kabel BW, Sky Italia, Sky Deutschland and BSkyB.