NDS Sells OpenBet Unit

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TV middleware and conditional-access software vendor NDS Group will divest OpenBet, it subsidiary that offers online gaming and betting technology and software solutions, in a management-led buyout worth about $330 million backed by private-equity firm Vitruvian Partners.

Vitruvian and management will acquire OpenBet for a cash consideration of £208 million, or approximately $330 million at current exchange rates. NDS said it will use the proceeds for general corporate purposes.

The completion of the transaction is conditional upon the receipt of certain regulatory approvals. OpenBet, founded in 1996, describes itself as "the leading sportsbook and gaming software supplier" to casinos and gaming operators worldwide.

"We have taken great pride in supporting the continued growth of OpenBet and its transformation into a leading provider of technology solutions to the gaming industry," NDS chairman and CEO Abe Peled said in a statement announcing the deal Thursday. "The sale of OpenBet will help accelerate that growth in a consolidating market and allow NDS to focus further on continued growth in our core market -- the digital pay-TV technology sector."

NDS received legal advice from Allen & Overy LLP in connection with this transaction. The privately held company, based in Staines, Middlesex, in the U.K., is owned by the Permira Funds and News Corp.

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