With Eye on Broadcast Sector, Ericsson to Acquire Red Bee Media
In an effort to boost its broadcast-services business and target the rapidly growing broadband video market, Ericsson has announced its intention to acquire UK-based Red Bee Media from an entity controlled by Macquarie Advanced Investment Partners. The purchase price was not disclosed.
The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, will bring aboard 1,500 employees, as well as media services and operations facilities in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Australia.
With 1,240 of Red Bee Media employees being based in the UK, Ericsson’s UK business would grow to around 4,000 employees and with more than one-third working in the media services business, the UK will become a global media hub for Ericsson.
Founded in 2005, Red Bee Media provides a range of media services; from media asset management to playout and digital video publishing, metadata services, multilingual access services and creative services to major broadcasters and broadband platforms. Red Bee Media, which is known for its playout services, is also the largest editorial metadata provider in Europe, delivering more than 100,000 hours of subtitling per year for leading broadcasters.
The addition of Red Bee Media marks another chapter in Ericsson’s attempt to target the broadcast sector, following the foundation of its broadcast services business in 2007 and its acquisition of Technicolor’s Broadcast Services Division in 2012. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report June 2013 release, video is the single biggest contributor to traffic in mobile networks and this is expected to grow 60% annually until the end of 2018.
“Ericsson is making a step change to our business, cementing our commitment to TV and broadcast services and continuing a journey we started in 2007,” says Magnus Mandersson, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Unit Global Services, Ericsson. “We can create value for broadcasters by making digital content more accessible, enabling monetization of TV content more efficiently. Video traffic shows very strong uptake in the mobile networks and Ericsson can address the need of both broadcasters and telecom operators through our technology expertise and services capabilities.”
The closing of the acquisition is subject to approval from relevant regulatory authorities and other contractual conditions. After completion, Red Bee Media will be incorporated into Ericsson’s Business Unit Global Services.