Ericsson has completed its acquisition of Red Bee Media.
The deal will see 1,500 employees join the Ericsson’s Broadcast Services business, however Red Bee chief executive Patrick Tillieux is set to leave the company following a transition period.
Ericsson Broadcast Services UK managing director Ian Brotherston, who held the role of commercial director at Red Bee from 2007 to 2009, will lead the combined UK operation.
Executive vice president and head of Ericsson’s Global Services business unit Magnus Mandersson said: “We’re very happy to welcome our new employees to Ericsson and are confident they will help to take our broadcast services business to the next level and extend our global presence.
“We now have more than 5,000 employees in the UK and close to one-third of them work in broadcast services. As a result, the UK is now a major global media hub for Ericsson.”
Red Bee provides playout, access services, channel branding and promos for the likes of the BBC, Channel 4, BT Sport and UKTV. The company also has facilities in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Australia.
Ericsson’s Broadcast Services business began in 2007 with the signing of the first broadcast services deal with C More (formerly Canal+) in the Nordic region.
In July 2012, it bought Technicolor’s playout business and consequently already counts ITV and NBC Universal among its clients.
In a statement, Ericsson said its TV and media strategy is “to help content owners, broadcasters and TV service providers evolve to meet consumer demands for video experiences on any device, anytime, anywhere”.
Ericsson first announced its intention to acquire Red Bee in July last year.
The deal was scrutinised by the Competition Commission, which in March cleared the acquisition after it found competition in the playout sector would not be reduced.
Red Bee Media – formerly BBC Broadcast – was sold to Australia’s Macquarie Capital Alliance Group for £166m in 2005. Ericsson purchased Red Bee from Creative Broadcast Services Holdings, an entity controlled by Macquarie.
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