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March 15, 2012 4:18 PM

Fenwick, Skadden Advise on Cisco's $5 Billion Video Streaming Deal

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

Networking equipment giant Cisco Systems said Thursday that it will pay $5 billion to acquire video streaming software company NDS Group from private equity fund Permira Advisers and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. in a deal that, according to The New York Times, includes about $1 billion in assumed debt.

London-based NDS makes software used in the delivery of digital media to television, computers, and mobile devices. San Jose, California–based Cisco expects the acquisition to complement its Videoscape system, which streams video across a range of devices. The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year, subject to regulatory approvals.

News Corp. and Permira took NDS private in 2008, when they agreed to a deal that valued the company at about $3.7 billion.

A Fenwick & West team that includes M&A cochair Douglas Cogen and corporate partner Kris Withrow is advising Cisco. Compensation and benefits chair Scott Spector and antitrust cochair Mark Ostrau are also working on the deal, as are intellectual property partners Stephen Gillespie and Lawrence Granatelli, and intellectual property senior counsel Michael Egger. Partners Laurence Pulgram and Jennifer Kelly are advising on litigation matters, while partner Ronald Schrotenboer is working on tax issues. Mark Chandler is Cisco's general counsel.

Fenwick has represented Cisco on a number of past transactions, including the company's 2009 purchase of Flip Video maker Pure Digital for almost $600 million.

NDS, meanwhile, is being advised by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, which represented both News Corp. and Permira in their acquisition of the company. Skadden's M&A team includes partner Lou Kling, Allison Schneirov, Howard Ellin, and Michael Hatchard. Partners Katherine Bristor, Steven Matays, and Tim Sanders are working on tax issues. Also advising are compensation and benefits partner Regina Olshan, corporate finance partner Stacy Kanter, banking partner Stephanie Teicher, antitrust partner Clifford Aronson, and intellectual property partner Bruce Goldner. Ismat Levin is general counsel for NDS.

Kirkland & Ellis M&A partners Daniel Wolf and David Feirstein are representing J.P. Morgan in its role as one of Cisco's financial advisers. Sullivan & Cromwell corporate partner Sarah Payne and M&A managing partner Joseph Frumkin are representing Centerview Partners, which is also acting as a financial adviser to Cisco on the matter.

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