Ericsson agrees to buy Red Bee Media

Swedish equipment vendor Ericsson has made good on its promise to strengthen its standing in the media business by purchasing UK firm Red Bee Media, a leading provider of media services, for an undisclosed sum.

The company is being acquired from an entity controlled by Macquarie Advanced Investment Partners, and will be integrated into Ericsson’s business unit global services once regulatory approvals are cleared.

The acquisition means Ericsson will gain around 1,500 highly-skilled broadcast services professionals, as well as media services and operations facilities in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Australia.

Ericsson’s UK business will grow to around 4,000 employees, and with more than one-third working in the media services business, the UK is expected to become a global media hub for Ericsson.

Red Bee Media provides a range of media services ranging from media asset management to playout and digital video publishing, metadata services, multilingual access services and creative services for major broadcasters and broadband platforms.

Magnus Mandersson, executive vice president and head of business unit global services at Ericsson, said: “Ericsson is making a step change to our business, cementing our commitment to TV and broadcast services and continuing a journey we started in 2007.

“We can create value for broadcasters by making digital content more accessible, enabling monetization of TV content more efficiently. Video traffic shows very strong uptake in the mobile networks and Ericsson can address the need of both broadcasters and telecom operators through our technology expertise and services capabilities.”

This latest acquisition follows Ericsson’s agreement last April to purchase Microsoft’s Mediaroom business, with the deal expected to close in the second half of this year – more details here.

We spoke recently to Lisa Skelton, head of marketing for video and data traffic optimisation at Ericsson, who told us that demand for video is “overwhelming for operators at the moment” – full interview here.

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