Landmark £192m deal for Pace

8:50am Wednesday 23rd October 2013

By Chris Holland

Saltaire-based broadcast technology group Pace plc has agreed to acquire a US broadband technology business for £192 million in what is seen as a landmark deal for the business.
Subject to approval by its shareholders, Pace has reached a conditional agreement to buy Californian fibre optics and technology developer Aurora Networks.
Pace said Aurora was a highly profitable business with a blue chip customer base, with more than 200 customers in 50 countries, including the top ten US cable operators .
Pace chairman Allan Leighton said the acquisition was an important step in Pace’s strategic plan, unveiled in November 2011 on which the company had successfully delivered. Buying Aurora would enable Pace to broaden its operations beyond its core set top box business and help it to reach its profit targets by meeting constant demand from network operators and consumers for increased broadband bandwidth.
Mr Leighton said: ‘‘The acquisition of Aurora represents an important evolution in this process and enhances our strategy to grow a broader platform across hardware, software and services. Acquiring Aurora will allow Pace to expand beyond our core business and build deeper and more embedded relationships with our customers, which the Company believes will strengthen Pace's position as a market leading solutions provider for the PayTV and broadband industries.’’
Pace has also refinanced its existing debt facilities with a new £93 million five-year revolving credit facility through HSBC and RBS.

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