Imagine To Buy RGB Networks

Inks Deal For Maker Of Ad Insertion, Video Encoding/Packaging, And Cloud DVR Tech
imagine comm 400x300.jpg

RGB Networks has found its exit.

After flirting with an IPO for years but never pulling the trigger due mainly to fluctuations in its business, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based video technology specialist has struck a deal to be acquired by Imagine Communications, a company has been on an M&A binge since Charlie Vogt was named CEO of Harris Broadcast in the summer of 2013 (Harris Broadcast split itself into two operational units about a year ago – Imagine Communications and Gates Air) 

Financial terms were not disclosed (RGB has raised about $72 million during its lifespan, according to CrunchBase), but Imagine said it expects the majority of RGB Networks’ employees to join the company, noting that RGB’s products are deployed with more than 400 service providers worldwide. 

About 100 RGB employees will be joining Imagine, according to Vogt. Jef Graham, RGB’s chairman and CEO, won’t be coming along, but most of Graham’s leadership team will, Vogt added. Additionally, the plan is for Imagine to merge the RGB employees in Sunnyvale with those that came on board through Imagine’s recent acquisition of the advanced ad business of OpenTV.

Imagine said it will integrate RGB into its ever-expanding advertising management and video infrastructure portfolio. Vogt, who announced the deal internally today at Imagine’s global sales meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., said he expects the deal to close within the next couple of weeks, and that he anticipates that the acquisition will be accretive to Imagine's existing business. 

Founded in 2003, RGB initially played a key role in cable’s digital video simulcast deployments, then expanded into advanced advertising, multiscreen video technologies (including a just-in-time packaging platform that is said to be in use at operators such as Comcast), and, of recent note, a cloud DVR product. RGB’s multiscreen efforts kicked into high gear in 2010, when it acquired RipCode.

Vogt said the vast majority of RGB’s products will be additive to Imagine’s. There’s some overlap on the transcoding side, though Imagine, Vogt said, has already garnered a “true next-generation” software-based software encoding platform through recent acquisitions. 

RGB joins flurry of M&A action undertaken by Imagine, including the advanced ad business unit and related assets of OpenTV, and the purchase of Digital Rapids, a company focused on file-based media processing. Before splitting its operations into two, Harris acquired Imagine Communications, a company focused on adaptive bit rate tech for authenticated TV Everywhere, over-the-top and other multiscreen video applications. 

Vogt said the latest acquisition “ought to send a loud message to the MVPD market” that Imagine is committed to put even more energy into technologies that are driving the multiscreen video market.