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Espial Signs To Acquire ANT

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Espial, on-demand TV software and solutions provider, has entered into a cooperation agreement pursuant to which will see it acquire all of the outstanding shares of ANT plc in exchange for all cash consideration of £0.205 per outstanding share.
The offer values the issued ordinary share capital of ANT at approximately £5 million. ANT's board of directors has announced its support of the acquisition and has recommended that shareholders accept the offer.
Espial has already received irrevocable undertakings to vote in favour of the acquisition from holders of 47 percent of ANT's outstanding shares. The acquisition is expected to close in Q1 2013 pending receipt of necessary shareholder, court, regulatory, and other customary approvals.
ANT — headquartered in Cambridge, U.K. — provides IP, hybrid, and connected TV products and services. Its customers include major TV manufacturers, set-top box vendors, broadcasters, and service providers. ANT has successfully deployed its high-performance software featuring rich HTML5 user experiences across set-top boxes, tablets, and smartphones. In addition, ANT has built significant industry thought leadership through standards initiatives where, for example, they are a founding member of HbbTV, which is Europe's leading HTML5-based hybrid broadcast broadband TV standard.
"Multiscreen video services on set-top boxes, Smart TVs, tablets, PCs, and smartphones are quickly becoming the new expectation for today's consumers. Delivering a superior user experience across these devices is a critical element to the success of TV service providers," said Jaison Dolvane, CEO of Espial. "The acquisition of ANT provides Espial with the increased scale, resources, and depth of experience to extend our HTML5 market leadership. ANT provides rich expertise in delivering HTML5 user interfaces and applications as well as delivering complex vertically integrated client software solutions. We believe the acquisition of ANT will extend our capabilities to establish Espial as a clear market leader as TV service providers aggressively move to IP video delivery. We are excited about this combination and committed to working with ANT's existing customers and partners to ensure their ongoing success."
Espial believes the combined company operations will provide strong synergies including:
• Increased revenue and customer base.
• Increased scale and resources to deliver rich HTML5 user experiences and integrated clients across set-top boxes and multiscreen devices.
• Expanded customer footprint in Europe, North America, and Asia including major TV operators, set-top box manufacturers, and Smart TV manufacturers.
• Additional depth of intellectual property including client and user experience products, technologies, and patents.
• Increased presence of European operations.
"The TV market has continuously evolved to bring an ever richer set of video services to consumers over managed networks and the open Internet to a wide range of consumer devices," said Royston Hoggarth, chairman of ANT. "The combination of Espial and ANT provides the increased scale and HTML5 expertise for Espial to further its leadership position in this very valuable market. We believe the combination of these two market leaders will benefit and help intercept the growth of this market."
Readers are cautioned that the proposed acquisition is subject to ANT shareholder approval, sanction by the court, and various other customary closing conditions. There can be no assurance that the proposed transaction will be completed on the terms described in this press release, on the expected timeline, or at all.

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