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NDS Group In Talks To Be Acquired By Cisco For $5 Billion -Report

By Robert Daniel NDS Group PLC, the U.K. provider of equipment to pay-TV operators, is in advanced talks to be acquired by Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) for $5 billion, according to an Israeli media report. NDS is owned 51% by the London private-equity firm Permira and 49% by News Corp. (NWS NWSA), which also owns Dow Jones & Co., publisher of this newswire. Calcalist, the business section of the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot, reported the talks. The paper said that NDS was founded in 1988 at the Weizmann Institute, the Rehovot, Israel, research center. Cisco is the San Jose, Calif., provider of telecommunications equipment and services. The online edition of the paper reported that the deal could be done in the coming days as the talks near conclusion. In February 2009, Permira and News Corp. took NDS private in a $63-a-share deal. At the time of the deal, News Corp. held 72% of NDS. As part of the buyout, News Corp. reduced its holding to 49% and Permira took 51%. Spokesmen for NDS, News Corp., Permira and Cisco weren't immediately available for comment. -Robert Daniel; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

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