Kudelski launches OpenTV takeover bid

February 27, 2009 | 09:27 UK

The Kudelski Group is looking to cement its relationship with OpenTV through a $127 million (€99.63m) bid for the outstanding shares in the company.

The Swiss conditional access provider has held voting control of the San Francisco middleware and advertising solutions company since November 2006. Sales teams have already begun to work in tandem and Kudelski says the transaction would provide for better integration of solutions and services to customers. “Efforts to improve efficiencies and service delivery are vital to both the Kudelski Group and OpenTV in today’s economic environment,” the company said in a statement.

The $1.35 per share cash offer is based on a 35% premium on OpenTV’s closing share price on February 26. Kudelski will fund the purchase through third party debt.
It is anticipated that OpenTV will now form a special committee of independent directors to evaluate the proposal. Kudelski has stressed that while it wants to reach a definitive agreement as soon as possible it has no intention of disposing of its controlling stake should the bid be unsuccessful.

Announcing its 2008 financials, Kudeslski said some of the Group’s largest accounts had now moved to its new model, representing some 25 million smart cards, and having a strong effect on the 2008 results. One company to have adopted the new model is the US DTH operator EchoStar, where although the model contributed positively to revenues, it did have a negative effect on Group 2008 margins.
Kudelski reported a Group operating profit of CHF18.5 million, as revenues grew by 20.4% in constant currency to CHF1 billion.