Benchmark Systems acquired by KIT digital

MUMBAI: Asian TV system integrator and video asset manager Benchmark Systems is being bought out by Prague-headquartered KIT digital, an on-demand, Internet Protocol (IP)-based video asset management systems provider.

The latter has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the privately held company, which has a strong presence in India through its offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata apart from Singapore (its headquarters), and Beijing. Benchmark services many Indian broadcast clients including ESPN Star, ETV, NDTV, Reliance Mediaworks, Sahara, TV9, and Zee TV. The company is expected to generate revenues of $10 million in the next 12 months.
KIT will be acquiring 100 per cent of Benchmark shares. In return, it has commitments to pay the latter approximately $9.5 million directly (comprising $4.5 million in cash and $5.0 million in KIT digital common stock) plus approximately $1.1 million, to be paid to employees over two years. The transaction also includes corporate performance-based contingent considerations at the first and second anniversary of the transaction. KIT digital expects Benchmark to be immediately accretive on a cash-flow, EBITDA, and net profit basis.

"Benchmark was a choice acquisition for us in a number of ways and one which we have been working on for some time," said KIT digital‘s chairman & CEO Kaleil Isaza Tuzman. "This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to the Asian markets and our determination to be the leader in video asset management in the Bric markets. It also represents an extension to our existing IPTV systems integration capabilities -- which support our larger-scale software implementations with broadcasters and network operators." 
Adds KIT digital president Gavin Campion: "We plan to cross-sell our VX-one video management platform into Benchmark‘s existing client base while leveraging Benchmark‘s on-the-ground presence in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Greater China to expand our business more quickly in the region."

Benchmark president Ashish Mukherjee gave his point of view: "We have been experiencing first-hand, the shift in Asia from traditional video systems to IP-based technologies. We are excited to be joining the global leader in IP video management and we believe our collective strength will yield exceptional value and benefits for our combined customer base. Given Benchmark management‘s two decades of expanding relationships with content owners and network operators across the region, we think the sales synergies between our companies are powerful."

"We are also looking forward to collaborating on software development for both IP- and ASI-based video technologies," added Mukherjee, "combining our companies‘ respective strengths in video and broadcast technologies, and bridging the gap between traditional broadcast and new media for customers in emerging markets. As a combined force, we believe we now offer a global capability in capturing, processing and delivering IP video that is second to none."

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