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Cable Technology Feature Article

December 03, 2010

Encompass to Acquire Global Content Distribution Business of Ascent Media

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributor

Digital media services provider Encompass Digital Media has announced a definitive agreement to acquire the global content distribution business of Ascent Media for total consideration of approximately $120 million, including around $113 million in cash and the assumption of certain indebtedness and obligations totalling approximately $7 million.

The company expects that this acquisition will create a prominent global provider of mission-critical outsourced media services to broadcasters, cable channels, media companies, major corporations and institutions.

This latest acquisition is expected to “greatly” expand Encompass’ scale and geographic footprint. The transaction will combine Encompass’ core operations in Los Angeles and Atlanta with Ascent’s broadcast facilities in the U.S., including the New York metro area, Minnesota and Burbank), Singapore and London, according to company officials.

Company officials said that the transaction enables Encompass to provide “unparalleled” disaster recovery, occasional-use transmission and backhaul for news, sports and government services.

Additionally to support existing and emerging applications and platforms worldwide, the company plans to expand its Los Angeles digital media manipulation, archive and distribution services.

“Acquiring Ascent’s content distribution business positions Encompass as a leading provider in outsourced media solutions by significantly enhancing our ability to meet the needs of broadcasters and media companies looking to benefit from the latest technology and rationalize costs with a highly credible global partner,” said Simon Bax, CEO at Encompass, in a press release.

Once the transaction is completed, Encompass is expected to have approximately 950 employees. Company officials said that they will operate a network of broadcast facilities worldwide with integrated media solutions that include network origination, central-casting for TV stations, disaster recovery, satellite and fiber transmissions, satellite uplink trucks and digital media services.

The combined company is expected to benefit from a diversified client base consisting of major media companies, cable and sports networks as well as government entities.

Company officials said that the financing for the transaction is being provided by Macquarie Capital and Tennenbaum Capital Partners. Macquarie Capital is serving as the exclusive financial advisor to the company. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.

Last month, Encompass Digital Media expanded its client base and increases its channel count with new business from Fox Latin American Channels, GolTV and TVG.

Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anshu’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard