Kudelski Wants Its OpenTV
Kudelski Group wants to buy the chunk of OpenTV Corp. (Nasdaq: OPTV), a provider of set-top box middleware and interactive advertising systems, it doesn't already own, the Swiss security giant announced today.
Buried in its 2008 financial results, Kudelski revealed it has submitted a non-binding deal to acquire the outstanding Class A ordinary shares of OpenTV at $1.35 per share, with a total of $127 million to be paid to non-Kudelski shareholders.(See Kudelski Reports 2008.)
Initially, the bid represented a 35 percent premium on OpenTV's closing price on Thursday. OpenTV shares were up 23 cents (22.92%), to $1.23 each in early trading Friday.
OpenTV says its board of directors will meet to consider the bid, but declined further comment. Kudelski says it hopes to "reach a definitive agreement as soon as practical," noting that it has no intention of disposing of its controlling stake in OpenTV "under any scenario."
Kudelski's interest in OpenTV doesn't come as a huge surprise. It assumed voting control of the company in January 2007 from Liberty Media Corp. (NYSE: LMC), and has already incorporated OpenTV's tech and software into a broad set of video deals. Kudelski's latest move completes the commitment, emerging just after OpenTV posted its first-ever profitable year. (See Kudelski Buys OpenTV Stock and OpenTV Closes 2008.)
Although OpenTV's software is in 121 million digital boxes and televisions worldwide, its efforts in the U.S. cable market have been hit or miss.
It played a key role in Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s interactive advertising trial in Huntsville, Ala., and recently hired former Comcast Spotlight exec Paul Woidke. (See Woidke Heads to OpenTV .)
It's also one of the vendors interested in supplying tech for Canoe Ventures LLC , the cross-MSO advanced advertising joint venture. (See Canoe Ventures: What It Is, What It Ain't , Clearwire & Canoe , and Canoe Paddles Out to the Web .)
It almost scored some business with Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC). At one point, OpenTV was set to supply middleware for the MSO's limited Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)-based set-top footprint. That project was placed on "indefinite hold" when TWC's Houston system, by far the MSO's largest Motorola property, became part of the Comcast empire following a systems exchange deal between the two operators. (See OpenTV, TWC Freeze Middleware Deal.)
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News