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Company Signs LOI with Asset Management Provider Ardendo; Follows 19% Adactus Purchase and Acquisition of Curious Software

Last Updated: January 10, 2006 4:36 pm GMT
(Bergen, Norway, January 10, 2005) Vizrt, the world’s leading producer of real-time 2D and true 3D graphics system for television, has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire Ardendo, a developer of software that provides complete Media Asset Management solutions for broadcasters.

Based in Stockholm, Ardendo offers a range of software solutions for digital archiving, ingest, transcoding, browsing, and system integration media management for broadcasters moving to IT-based production and archiving. Vizrt is to acquire all outstanding shares of Ardendo for $23 million (U.S.) in an all-share transaction. The deal is expected to close no later than April 30, 2006 and is subject to due diligence and board approval of both companies.

Incorporating Ardendo’s range of media asset management solutions will greatly extend and strengthen Vizrt’s offering  of products from graphics-specific to a full broadcast production system, addressing every step from ingest to visualization. “By marrying the ingest, archiving, editing, transcoding, playout and newsroom components from Ardendo with real-time graphics components, mobile distribution and mobile visualization tools from Vizrt, we’re establishing a company that can provide the world’s first complete multi-platform production solution – unlike anything else in the market space,” explained Bjarne Berg, CEO of Vizrt. “This will enable content producers to truly create once, use multiple times and distribute everywhere.”

Companies producing media today face the challenge of acquiring a large amount of content, storing it, editing it, retrieving it, and re-using it within a multitude of platforms, with individual requirements from SD, HD, Internet, interactive television, mobile phone standards, and podcasting.

“Combining Ardendo and Vizrt software creates opportunities for a new class of integrated products,” said Jonas Engstroem, CEO of Ardendo.  “I’m thrilled about the opportunities this will provide our customers. What Vizrt and Ardendo bring to the table will surely produce results to watch. Vizrt’s recent acquisition history has been very well devised in terms of the type and quality of technologies acquired, their compatibility with Vizrt’s product range, and the growth potential of the markets served. And, the global presence of Vizrt will provide immediate benefits for sales and support of Ardendo’s current product portfolio. We look forward to becoming a part of such a dynamic organization.”

Ardendo’s ingest, media management and archive solutions include ARDOME for media management and archiving; the DART ingest scheduler; the ARDCAP ingest station and play-out control; the ARDENC transcoder; and ARDEON, an entry-level archive solution.

Vizrt recently purchased a 19 percent interest in  Adactus (September 13, 2005), a Norwegian developer of multimedia delivery and consumption platforms based on the MPEG-21 standard, specializing in delivery of video content to mobile phones. Ardendo software is able to manage the various resolutions, codes, and rights management necessary for video transport to the many mobile phone platforms, and this will prove key in Vizrt’s developing mobile video applications.  Vizrt acquired Curious Software (February 29, 2005), makers of Curious World Maps, the industry standard for digital map creation in broadcast television news, documentaries, video and film production.

Ardendo is a software company with focus on integrated solutions for the broadcast industry. Ardendo delivers products and services for media asset management, ingest automation, digital archives, desktop media processing and system integration. The key strength of the Ardendo approach is the modular architecture which is built to serve customer requirements for scalability, availability and customized solutions. Ardendo has several high-profile reference installations of systems for IT-based processing of digital media. The current customer base covers customers in news, general program production, playout services and post production. Worldwide customers include CNN, Fox Sports, Sveriges Television (SVT), Danish Broadcasting Corp., TV2 Norway, BBC Broadcasting, and the Swedish Parliament.

Vizrt is the world’s leading provider of HD/SD real-time 2D and true 3D broadcast graphics. The company’s software suite offers a complete graphics solution including: character generation, content management and newsroom integration, 3D tickers, virtual studio, 3D weather application with data integration, Curious Software map creation tools, virtual sports analysis, information display and virtual effects.
 
All Vizrt’s graphics products are powered by a single core renderer, the unique and powerful Viz|Engine™. Vizrt’s graphics solution goes beyond the visual aspect and includes highly customized user interfaces for the designer, operator, journalist and engineer.

The world’s leading broadcasters, such as CNN, CBS, Fox, BBC, Sky, ITN, ZDF, Star TV, TV Today, CCTV and NHK as well as Production houses and Corporate institutions, including both the New York and London Stock Exchange, use Vizrt’s software suite.

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