Cisco does ‘minor’ acquisition, aims to control China set-top box market

cisco.jpg Even Cisco’s “small acquisitions” are driven by big ambitions.

In a deal announced today, Cisco said it will buy the set-top box business of China’s DVN for a total of about $44.5 million to expand its cable TV/video reach in that growing market.

Cisco estimates there are just 160 million cable TV subscribers in China, expected to double in the next few years as a government mandate to move all subscribers to digital by 2015 gets underway.

The deal is Cisco’s fourth in the past month (including buys of Tanberg, Starent and Scansafe). The STB deal is the smallest, but all told the deals are valued at about $6.2 billion.

Clearly, Cisco is on a buying spree once again. The markets it has targeted so far telepresence, IP networking, security and emerging market video signal at least part of its ambitions.

Cisco already sells STBs around the globe through its Scientific-Atlanta business, fodder from a previous round of acquisitions.

In an interview with CNET, Hilton Romanski, vice president of corporate development for Cisco, described the vendor’s plans to open up its checkbook coming out of the global recession as an effort to “see the straightaway and hit the gas” and begin growing again through acquisitions, a classic Cisco strategy.

 

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