Espial buys ANT

Canadian TV software specialist Espial has agreed to buy UK firm ANT for around GB£ 5mn (US$ 8mn), giving it access to the latter’s extensive customer base, new intellectual property and a foothold in Europe.

The offer tabled by Espial is for GB£ 0.205 per outstanding share, and ANT’s board has already confirmed their support of the acquisition and recommended that shareholders accept the bid.

Espial has already received “irrevocable undertakings” from certain shareholders to vote in favour of the acquisition, involving 47% of ANT’s outstanding shares, and meaning that the Canadian company will almost certainly take a large chunk of the company.

Cambridge-headquartered ANT provides IP, hybrid and connected TV products and services, and has a customer footprint across Europe, North America and Asia including major TV manufacturers, set-top box vendors, broadcasters and service providers.

The company has also done a great deal of work on HTML5 user interfaces and applications, and the acquisition is expected to bolster Espial’s abilities in this area in particular.

“The acquisition of ANT provides Espial with the increased scale, resources and depth of experience to extend our HTML5 market leadership,” said Jaison Dolvane, CEO of Espial.  “ANT provides rich expertise in delivering HTML5 user interfaces and applications as well as delivering complex vertically integrated client software solutions.

“We believe the acquisition of ANT will extend our capabilities to establish Espial as a clear market leader as TV service providers aggressively move to IP video delivery. We’re excited about this combination and are committed to continue working with ANT’s existing customers and partners to ensure their ongoing success”

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013, dependent on the relevant shareholder, court, regulatory and other approvals.

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