Posts Tagged ‘set-top box’

Broadcast Vendor M&A: ARRIS Buys Pace for $2.1 Billion

Analysis, Broadcast technology vendor financials, Broadcast Vendor M&A, Quarterly Results, SEC Filings | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 22 2015

In the latest round of media technology consolidation ARRIS announced  it will acquire Pace for $2.1 billion in stock and cash.

ARRIS is financing the deal with just $55 million in cash.  The remaining $2.05 billion comes from a new incremental $800m credit facility underwritten by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and $1.455 billion worth of newly issued ARRIS shares.

The transaction will result in the formation of “New ARRIS,” which is expected to be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker ARRIS.

Full details of the transaction are available in the Agreement and Plan of Merger file with the SEC.

In a presentation to investors, ARRIS provided the following graphical description of the post-closing structure of New ARRIS:

ARRIS Acquires Pace -- New Arris Post-Closing Structure

 

The deal comes just over two years since ARRIS paid $2.2 billion to acquire the Motorola Home business from Google and catapulted itself to global leader status in the process.

According to the company, the deal “significantly enhances ARRIS international presence, provides large scale entry into satellite segment, [and a] broader product portfolio in equipment, software and services.”

In a letter to employees, ARRIS chairman & CEO said the acquisition of Pace “opens the door for ARRIS’s next phase of growth – through a broader geographic and customer footprint, newly combined complementary product offerings, and enhanced scale. It will provide us with a large-scale entry into the satellite segment. By adding Pace’s innovation and talent, we can further broaden our product portfolio in equipment, software, and services. We will also benefit from Pace’s strong presence in Latin America – one of our industry’s highest growth regions – opening up new global opportunities.”

ARRIS described the Pace product portfolio in the chart below:

ARRIS Acquires Pace -- Pace Product Portfolio

 

The acquisition of Pace gives ARRIS a stronger position in the set-top box business, at the same time as Cisco is being urged by investors to exit from its set-top box unit.  For the first six months if its 2015 fiscal year, revenue in Cisco’s “Service Provider Video” business, which includes STBs decreased by more than 15% versus the same period last year.

“This transaction is another example of ARRIS’s ongoing strategy of investing in the right opportunities to position our company for growth. Adding Pace’s talent, products and diverse customer base will provide ARRIS with a large scale entry into the satellite segment, broaden our portfolio and expand our global presence. We expect this merger will enable ARRIS to increase its speed of innovation. We believe this is a tremendous opportunity for ARRIS and our customers, employees, shareholders and partners around the world as we collaborate to invent the future,” said  Stanzione.

“Pace plc is a great company with a strong track record of pioneering innovation and excellent customer service. Through a combination of organic development and acquisitions, Pace has grown to be a leading technology solutions provider to the PayTV and Broadband industries serving cable, satellite and telco customers across the globe. Over the last three years, Mike Pulli and the wider Pace team have successfully executed against our strategic plan to develop Pace into a more distinctive, profitable and cash generative company, creating significant value for shareholders.

“The Pace Directors believe that ARRIS’s offer recognises this value and also gives our shareholders the opportunity to share in the future success of the combined group. While we believe that Pace is strongly positioned to continue to execute its strategy in the medium and long term, we believe that the combination of the complementary ARRIS and Pace businesses will create a platform for future growth above and beyond our standalone potential. We believe this is a great fit for both companies, our employees, customers and trading partners,” said Allan Leighton, Chairman of Pace.

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Related Content:

Press Release: ARRIS to Acquire Pace plc for $2.1 Billion in Stock and Cash

ARRIS-PACE AGREEMENT AND PLAN OF MERGER

Investor Presentation — ARRIS TO ACQUIRE PACE PLC

ARRIS Employee Letter

Arris-Pace Merger Credit Agreement

Reuters: Arris to buy British set-top box maker Pace in $2.1 billion deal

Reuters — Analysis: Some Cisco investors urge an exit from set-top box unit

Press Release: ARRIS Acquires Motorola Home: Creates Premier Video Delivery and Broadband Technology Company

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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Amino Technologies Reports Increased Profit on Flat Revenue for the Six Months Ended May 31, 2013

Broadcast technology vendor financials, Quarterly Results | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jul 16 2013

UK-based IPTV set-top box vendor Amino Technologies announced that its revenue for the six months ending May 31 2013 were £20.1m, flat compared to the previous year.

Operating profit jumped 735% versus last year to £2.6m.

EBITDA before exceptional items was £3.3m, up 83% from last year.

Amino’s operating profit in the period includes a rebate of £1.7m for tax and duty paid on previously recognized international product sales. Also included in this figure were restructuring charges of £700,000 resulting from the closure of Amino’s Swedish office and transfer of all development activities to Cambridge in the UK.

Investors, who have an average full year revenue target of £43.5m, sent the company’s shares down 5.8% following the earnings news.

Gross margins for the six months ended May 31 2013 were 46.2%, up from 35.4% during the same period last year. The company attributed the margin expansion to migrating customers to the company’s current product range, and the removal of older devices from its product portfolio.

On the product front, Amino said that its new lower functionality device has helped to drive contract and tender wins in markets such as Eastern Europe and Latin America where cost is the principal purchasing driver.

Operating costs in the period were up 12.8% to £6m, due to increased senior and regional sales headcount, higher R&D costs, and staff incentives.

Amino said growth in the pure OTT market is proving attractive. The company said it had several “win back” deals in North America during the period, and secured OTT contracts with a Russian language TV service and Mexican a fiber network operator.  However a previously announced deal with deal with a leading European telecoms operator has experienced some deployment delays, leading to uncertainty around the timings for product roll-out. The Netherlands has returned to normal levels following strong growth last year, and demand remains muted in Russia

“This solid set of results underlines the progress Amino is making against its goal of profitable growth and improvements in shareholder returns, said the company’s non-executive chairman Keith Todd. “During the period, we have enhanced our competitiveness in our markets through a clear and compelling proposition – quality robust products, operational performance and rapid delivery to meet demanding customer expectations. Our ability to flex our portfolio is demonstrated by new contract wins from target customers in both emerging and established markets.”

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 Related Content:

Amino Technologies: Interim results for the six months ended 31st May 2013

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© Devoncroft Partners 2009 – 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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Devoncroft Digest — July 30, 2010 – Earnings Season Continues, Grass Valley Finds a Buyer, More Broadcast Industry M&A, Harris Creates New Division, Elemental and Envivio Close Funding Rounds

broadcast industry technology trends, broadcast industry trends, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials, Devoncroft Digest, market research | Posted by Joe Zaller
Jul 30 2010

The Devoncroft Digest provides an overview of and insight into industry news items that I think might be interesting / important for readers and clients. 

Here are a few of the things that have caught my eye this week.

Earnings Season Continues

A number of broadcasters, TV platform operators and broadcast technology vendors announced their earnings this week. With one or two exceptions the results were generally positive.

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Broadcast Technology Vendor Earnings

Harmonic posted strong Q2 results.  The company’s revenue was up 18% versus the same period last year, and up 13% versus the previous quarter.  More importantly, the company’s net income of the quarter was $4.4m vs. a loss of $7.9m during the same period last year.

On the company’s earnings conference call and slide presentation Harmonic executives also discussed the pending acquisition of video server company Omneon, and provided a bit more information on Omneon’s business.  Omneon recorded bookings of $57.8m during the first half of 2010, a 19% y/y increase.  For the full year, Omneon is expected to have revenues of $120-$125m, with (non-GAAP) gross margins of 57-57% and (non-GAAP) operating margins of 6-7%.

The market seemed to like what Harmonic had to say.  On the day after the earnings announcement, Harmonic shares were up by almost 17%.

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Technicolor announced its results for the first half of 2010 this week, which saw revenues decline 18.5% versus the previous year.  The company achieved EBIT of €15m from “continuing operations,” but recorded an EBIT Loss of €109m from “discontinued operations.”  The company attributed this EBIT loss “mostly to Grass Valley,” which found a buyer this week after being for sale for more than a year (more on that below).  More information about Technicolor can be found in the slide presentation that the company used during its analyst earnings conference call. 

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Belden issued strong numbers for Q2, beating the expectation of equity analysts.  Driven by strong results from the Americas (which were up 27% y/y), the company’s revenues rose 24% versus the same period a year ago, and 6% versus the previous quarter.    The company issued an upbeat forecast and raised its guidance for the future.

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Audio (and now video) specialist Dolby Labs delivered strong results for its 3rd quarter.  The company’s revenues rose 34% versus the same period last year, and its net income increased by 25% versus Q3 2009.  Dolby which has been pushing aggressively into the 3D and Digital Cinema markets, recorded a non-cash impairment charge of $9.6 million in cost of revenue related to digital cinema systems provided under operating leases to exhibitors.

Separately, Dolby announced an additional $300m for its stock repurchase program, which has the objective of offsetting dilution from the company’s equity compensation programs.

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Cable technology vendor ARRIS announced its preliminary Q2 Results.  The company’s revenues were up slightly, but its net income and gross margins were both down.  Investors were unhappy with these results and sent the company’s shares down sharply.

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Leading set-top box vendor Pace announced strong results for the first half of 2010.  For the first six months of the year the company’s revenues rose by 21% and profit jumped by 46% versus the same period in 2009.  Separately, the company announced its intention to acquire 2Wire (see below).

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Broadcaster & Platform Operator Earnings

European satellite operator Eutelsat announced this week that it achieved a record year, and that its revenue and EBITDA growth both exceeded 11% versus 2009.  The company’s earnings press release that it now delivers 3,662 broadcast TV Channels, and that the number of HDTV channels had grown by 80% during 2010.

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Belo, one of the largest pure-play TV broadcasters in the US delivered strong results for its second quarter of 2010.  The company’s revenue for Q2 was up by 13% versus 2009, and its net income almost doubled.  Significantly the company’s revenue from the automobile sector was up by 51% and its digital (website) revenues grew by 14%. 

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US cable operator Comcast reported that its revenues increased by 6.1% in its second quarter of 2010/  The company’s operating income and cash flow were both up, but it lost 256,000 basic video subscribers.  The company, which is currently seeking approval to purchase NBC-Universal, disclosed that it spent a total of $59m on the deal during the quarter

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UK-based Virgin Media delivered strong results for its second quarter.  The company’s revenue, operating income and cash flow all increased. 

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Broadcast Industry M&A Continues

Multiple broadcast technology M&A deals were announced today:

  • Grass Valley is to be acquired by Francisco Partners, a private equity firm
  • Ross Video is buying Codan
  • Pace announced  proposed their acquisition of 2Wire

 

Francisco Partners has made a binding offer to buy 100% of the shares in Grass Valley

After more than a year on the block, and several rumored bids, Technicolor appears to have found a buyer for Grass Valley – a Private Equity firm called Francisco Partners.    According to Technicolor CFO Stephane Rougeot “This binding offer is a key step in the largest of the disposals we decided to make as part of the strategic refocus of our activity portfolio. This will clarify and solidify our financial profile. This is also positive news for Grass Valley Broadcast employees and customers who will benefit from the engagement of a new shareholder recognized as a leader in technology-based businesses.”

Francisco is buying all of Grass Valley, except for the transmission business, which is being retained by Technicolor.

Technicolor certainly did not get rich from this deal.  It paid $172m for Grass Valley in 2002, and then acquiring multiple companies (including Canopus for more than $100m) over the past few years, the company has now struck a deal with Francisco Partners which according to a Technicolor press release values Grass Valley at $100m.

After reviewing the structure of the deal, one industry insider told me that Grass Valley was sold at what one industry insider described to me a “fire sale.”  In fact it appears that no money will change hands, and that Technicolor will actually pay €20m to Grass Valley in order to fund “ongoing management of the activity.”

For its part, Francisco Partners will sign an $80m IOU, which carries capitalized interest of 5% per year.  This means that Francisco will not pay anything for Grass Valley for at least five years, and that Technicolor will make a large cash injection into the company to keep it going. 

Clearly Technicolor wanted to get rid of Grass Valley and its associated losses so it can focus on its now core business activities.  The only silver lining for Technicolor is that it has the right to “receive additional consideration from the buyer based on the potential future remuneration of the new owners of the disposed entity.”

Grass Valley announced the deal in a press release and a letter to customers.    The company has set up a deal-oriented website where information about the transaction has been published, and has also created an “Ask Jeff.” (as in Jeff Rosica, head of the Grass Valley Broadcast & Professional business) email address where questions about the deal can be sent directly to the company. According to Rosica, who was interviewed by industry website TVNewsCheck, it’s Business As Usual At Grass Valley.

Grass Valley is one of the industry’s great companies and I am sure that the people there are happy to finally have resolved their fate.  Let’s hope they can now focus on making great products – and of course money for their new owners.

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Ross Video Acquires Codan

Ross Video, which is best known for its production switchers and newsroom automation systems, announced that has it entered into a letter of intent to buy 100% of the shares of Codan Broadcast Products Pty Ltd. The sale, subject only to the finalization of due diligence, is scheduled for completion on 31 August, 2010.  The deal will expand the Ross portfolio by adding Codan’s product range of routing switchers, signal processing and audio monitoring.  It also strengthens Ross Video’s foothold in the important Australian broadcast market. This is the second Ross acquisition in the past two years. In 2009 Ross purchased Dutch graphics firm Media Refinery.  

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Pace to Acquire 2Wire

Leading set-top box vendor Pace plc announced its proposed $475m acquisition of 2Wire, a provider of residential gateways and associated software for the broadband service provider market.  According to the press release, 2Wire has established customer relationships in the tier one telco market, including AT&T, which has been a customer of 2Wire for 10 years and uses 2Wire solutions in its U-Verse platform.  2Wire is currently owned by a consortium including Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Telmex, and Oak Investment Partners.

Pace says that following the completion of the acquisition it will be the number one provider of telco residential gateway devices in the US and the number three globally.

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3D News – RealD Insiders Cash in on IPO

The Wall Street Journal reports that following on from their successful IPO, insiders at 3D firm RealD Insiders Made More Money in IPO than Company Did.  A skeptical Wall Street equity analyst is quoted in the article as saying that the only reason for the IPO was to generate liquidity for investors.

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Other Broadcast Technology Vendor News

Harris Creates New Division, Names Means GM

The changes continue at the broadcast communications division of Harris.  The company announced this week that it has created a new “Workflow, Infrastructure & Networking” (WIN) business unit, and named newly hired Doug Means as its General Manager.  According to the company’s press release, Means will lead the newly formed WIN business unit, which encompasses the Harris Broadcast infrastructure, networking, server, automation and asset management product portfolios. WIN was formed as part of an overall strategy to create scale, reduce organizational complexity and deliver more interoperable solutions to address the continually changing needs of Harris Broadcast customers.

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 Ross Video Appoints Nigel Spratling to Marketing Role

Production switcher specialist Ross Video has appointed industry veteran Nigel Spratling to a marketing role at the company.  Spratling was most recently the CEO of Echolab, which was forced to liquidate earlier this year when its primary shareholder pulled the plug.  The fate of Echolab is still undetermined, but I have been hearing rumours that Blackmagic Designs is set to announce that they have acquired the company’s assets. 

 

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Evertz Lands Big International Order

Canadian infrastructure vendor Evertz, which prides itself on not doing marketing, took the unusual step of issuing a short press release to announce the fact that the company has received orders in excess of C$7m from an unnamed international customer.   

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Elemental Closes $7.5m Funding Round

Video transcoding firm Elemental Technologies, which uses GPU processing announced that it has closed a $7.5 funding round, bringing the total VC money raised by Elemental to more than $14 million.  The round was led by Steamboat Ventures, with Voyager Capital and General Catalyst Partners also participating.  Interestingly, according to an SEC document filed by Elemental earlier this year,  the company had provisioned to raise up to $9m.  The company says it intends to use the capital to expand its business in the United States and internationally.   Transcoding is a tough business as evidenced by the recent sale of Ripcode (who had raised considerable financing) to RBG.  Perhaps Elemental’s unique GPU-based approach will enable the company to thrive – it gets pretty good reviews from broadcasters according to an article about Pitch Blue which appeared in Broadcasting & Cable magazine this week.

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Envivio Raises $15m

GigaOm property NewTeeVee reported this week that Envivio, another player in the video encoding / transcoding space,  has secured $15m in additional funding and shaken up its management team. 

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Other Platform Operator News

Ascent Media Hires 3 New VPs

Ascent Media has appointed three new vice-presidents for its media and digital services operations in Burbank, CA. 

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MobileTV News

The Wall Street Journal published an interesting article about the state of the mobileTV marketin the USA, which discusses Qualcomm’s Plans for FLO TV, the US broadcaster-backed Open Mobile Video Coalition and mobileTV operator MobiTV.  The WSJ’s finding?  The picture for mobile TV in the US is “fuzzy.”

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Other News

Broadcasting & Cable magazine’s Glen Dickson wrote an interesting article about the new HD file delivery platformsthat are being rolled out by Ascent Media and DG FastChannel. 

According to B&C, Pitch Blue, the new HD file delivery platform from Ascent Media and CBS is now delivering HD content to 1,350 US TV stations, while the new system from DG FastChannel has been deployed in 500 US TV stations.  The B&C article also highlights the need for transcoding systems in TV stations to convert these HD file to house formats.  As mentioned above, Elemental gets a good review from stations.    

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Market Research Note of the Week: Reliability Rankings of Broadcast Technology Vendors — The Top 30 Globally

Broadcast technology products are purchased by discerning customers for what are often mission-critical applications. Thus, the reliability of products is a paramount concern for buyers of these products.

To measure the rankings of the reliability of vendors, respondents were asked to rank broadcast technology vendor brands for “reliability” on a 10-point scale, with 10 being best in the market and one being worst in the market. The top 30 ranked brands are shown in the graph for the global sample of all respondents. There are a wide variety of vendors on this list, including large and small companies and those who produce audio and video products.

When reviewing these results it’s important to understand how many products are produced by each vendor on this list. This will help us to understand if reliability comes from small, focused companies or large, multiproduct vendors.

The 2010 BBS evaluated 27 separate product categories. As with the previously published top 30 quality rankings, single-product companies (those who were covered on only one product category in the 2010 BBS) dominate the rankings for reliability.

To read the full article, including a breakdown and analysis of the findings, click here.

Devoncroft Digest — Week Ending April 30, 2010 — Good new outnumbers bad news for the week

broadcast industry technology trends, Broadcast technology channel strategy, broadcast technology market research, Broadcast technology vendor financials | Posted by Joe Zaller
Apr 30 2010

Devoncroft Digest – Week Ending April 30, 2010

 

Is the market picking up?  Good new outnumbers bad news for the week.

TVB reported that broadcasters have resumed their HD newsroom upgrades.  The article lists multiple stations that have moved ahead with the transition to HD news.  This is welcome news for broadcast vendors, and further reinforces my post-NAB thoughts that the market is picking up.

TVB also reported that, according to BIA/Kelsey, US broadcast station income will increase by 7.5% this year versus 2009.

Further signs of the market is improving were see this week with the four big US broadcast networks seeing a healthy increase in upfront ad sales.  According to Media Post (via TVNewsCheck) Barclays Capital estimated a 20% jump in the upfront market, giving the Big Four broadcasters a combined $8.26 billion.

 

 Earnings Season Continues

 Earnings season is in full swing this week, with Arris, Belden, DivX, Dolby, Discovery and Harris reporting their results.

For the most part, the results were positive, indicating that the market has picked up:

  • Belden announced strong results for their first quarter of 2010.

 

 

 

  • Discovery Communications also posted strong earnings, beating analyst expectations.  Both revenue and profits increased, with an especially strong showing in the international market

 

However, not all results were positive:

  • Arris reported a revenue increase of 5% versus the same period a year ago, but its net income declined 11% versus the previous quarter.  The stock was downgraded by several banks.

 

  • The Broadcast Communications Division of Harris posted a $5m loss for the quarter and took a $1m restructuring charge.  The company lowered guidance for the broadcast division for the full year and announced that it would be taking a further $6m restructuring charge in the current quarter in order to achieve further cost reduction.

 

Other interesting things this week:

According to the Wall Street Journal, RED Cameras has paid almost $20m for a house in Beverly Hills, CA that will be used for guests of the company.  How do I get invited to that house warming party?

Google is reportedly working on Android-based software to enable set-top boxes, TVs and other devices to more content from the Internet.  According to the Wall Street Journal Google’s move has attracted interest from partners that include Sony Corp., Intel Corp. and Logitech International SA, which are expected to offer products that support the software, these people said. None have so far discussed the efforts publicly.

 

 

Market Research Note of the Week:

How are broadcast technology products typically purchased – Direct from vendor, SI or dealer?

As part of the 2010 Big Broadcast Survey I asked several thousand technology buyers (including broadcasters, playout centers, cable/satellite/IPTV operators, education, film studios etc) in 120+ countries how they typically buy broadcast technology products – direct from a vendor; through a systems integrator; through a dealer; or some other way.

It turns out that there is considerable variation in the way broadcast technology products are purchased, with each category of buyer exhibiting different purchasing preferences. 

These results help readers to better understand the channel structure in the broadcast market.  They are interesting because they highlight that there are some times when it makes more sense for vendors to use a channel than go direct.  They also show that there are some types of buyers who are more used to buying through the channel versus direct.

To see the results, including a chart that breaks responses down by company type, please click here.

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