NDS To Sell OpenBet Unit; Vitruvian Partnes To Back Mgmt Buyout of OpenBet

NDS Group Ltd. signed an agreement for funds managed by London-based Vitruvian Partners to back a management buyout of NDS’s OpenBet subsidiary. OpenBet is a provider of online gaming and betting technology and software solutions. NDS develops technologies that allow pay-TV operators to deliver digital content. It is owned by Permira and News Corp.

PRESS RELEASE:
NDS, the leading provider of technology solutions for digital pay-TV, today announces that it has signed an agreement pursuant to which funds managed by Vitruvian Partners (“Vitruvian”) will back a management buyout of OpenBet, an NDS subsidiary and a leading provider of innovative online gaming and betting technology and software solutions.

“Vitruvian have a deep understanding of our business in both the online gaming and retail sectors. Their backing will enable OpenBet to continue to grow its business worldwide, with both existing customers and future opportunities.”
Vitruvian and management will acquire OpenBet for a cash consideration of £208 million. NDS will use the proceeds for general corporate purposes.

The completion of the transaction is conditional upon the receipt of certain regulatory approvals. At completion, Vitruvian will assume a majority holding in OpenBet with the remaining stake held by OpenBet Management. David Loveday, Chief Executive Officer of OpenBet, and the existing senior management team will continue in their roles.

Commenting on the transaction, Abe Peled, Chairman and CEO of NDS said: “We have taken great pride in supporting the continued growth of OpenBet and its transformation into a leading provider of technology solutions to the gaming industry. The sale of OpenBet will help accelerate that growth in a consolidating market and allow NDS to focus further on continued growth in our core market – the digital pay-TV technology sector”.

David Loveday, CEO of OpenBet added; “Vitruvian have a deep understanding of our business in both the online gaming and retail sectors. Their backing will enable OpenBet to continue to grow its business worldwide, with both existing customers and future opportunities.” He added; “As the leader in its field, the support and technical expertise of NDS has been invaluable to the success of OpenBet. This transaction will help ensure that OpenBet remains at the forefront of online and retail technology for the gaming industry both in terms of the solutions it offers and services.”

Ian Riley, a Managing Partner of Vitruvian, commented; “OpenBet is a high-growth technology business with a strong reputation, proven track record and impressive client portfolio. We are delighted to be backing David and his team and to be able to help support the continued development of the business.”

NDS received legal advice from Allen & Overy LLP in connection with this transaction.

About NDS

NDS Group Ltd. creates the technologies and applications that enable pay-TV operators to securely deliver digital content to TV STBs (set-top boxes), DVRs (digital video recorders), PCs, mobiles and other multimedia devices. Over 75 of the world’s leading pay-TV platforms rely on NDS solutions to protect and enhance their businesses. VideoGuard® is the world’s market-leading conditional access (CA) and digital rights management (DRM) technology, currently deployed on 138 million active devices, and safeguarding pay-TV service revenues exceeding $40 billion. NDS middleware, including MediaHighway® which enables a host of advanced services for subscribers, has been deployed on 163 million devices. NDS DVR technology, centred around XTV™, leads the global industry with 33 million units deployed. (Deployment figures as of 30th September 2010).

Headquartered in the UK, NDS remains committed to investing in R&D with over 75% of its employees dedicated to pioneering work at development centres in China, Denmark, France, India, Israel, Korea, UK and US. NDS has also implemented a host of initiatives aimed at reducing its carbon footprint and helping digital TV subscribers reduce energy consumption.

NDS Group Ltd. is a private company owned by the Permira Funds and News Corporation. See www.nds.com for more information.

About OpenBet www.openbet.com

Founded in 1996, OpenBet Ltd, formerly Orbis Technology Ltd, is the world’s leading provider of interactive gaming and betting solutions. As the leading sportsbook and gaming software supplier, the OpenBet no.1 betting technology platform enables operators to provide their customers with the ability to bet and play in multiple languages and currencies across multiple channels including web, mobile devices, retail outlets, call centers and interactive digital television, all with a single log-in and a centralised OpenBet Account.

OpenBet’s platform and products are used by the world’s leading gaming operators including Ladbrokes, William Hill, Betfair, Paddy Power and SkyBet. With a strong reputation and proven track record in compliance, OpenBet is a key player in the business to the government sector, working with a number of government-backed organizations including the Tote, Macau Slot in Asia and PMU following the regulation of online gaming laws in France in 2010. OpenBet partnered with BCLC (British Columbia Lottery Corporation), the first jurisdiction to legalise online gaming in North America, and is also the primary e-casino provider and software supplier for Loto Quebec.

In addition to being the betting technology platform of choice, the acquisition of Electracade and NT Media strengthened OpenBet’s commitment to developing cutting edge and innovative games for OpenBet Casino and other partnering platforms.

About Vitruvian www.vitruvianpartners.com

Vitruvian is an independent private equity firm which specialises in middle-market buyouts, growth buyouts and growth capital investments in the United Kingdom and Northern Europe. Vitruvian focuses on investing in ‘dynamic situations’ in industries characterised by growth and change such as information technology, media, telecoms, financial services, business services, healthcare and leisure. Vitruvian is currently investing its inaugural fund of €925 million which was closed to new commitments in February 2008.

Contacts
NDS
Amy Lucas
Corporate Communications
T: +44 20 8476 8243
E: alucas@nds.com
or
OpenBet / Vitruvian
Susanna Underwood
VP of Communications
T: +44 208 742 1600
M: 44 7884 000531
E: susanna.underwood@openbet.com
At A Glance
NDS Group Ltd Source: via Business Wire
Updated 02/06/2009 by company

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