- Associated Press - Thursday, March 15, 2012

SAN JOSE, CALIF. (AP) - Cisco Systems Inc. said Thursday that it will buy digital video technology company NDS Group Ltd. for about $5 billion, including debt.

Cisco said buying NDS will accelerate the delivery of its Videoscape entertainment platform and help it grow in emerging markets such as China and India, where NDS already does business.

San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco, the world’s largest maker of computer networking equipment, has been narrowing its focus by culling divisions and cutting costs by laying off workers. Its last major acquisition was that of Norwegian teleconferencing company Tandberg in April 2010.

NDS, based in the United Kingdom, is jointly owned by News Corp. and private equity firm Permira. Its software helps cable and satellite TV companies deliver content to subscribers’ digital video recorders and other devices.

Cisco is acquiring NDS‘ sites in Britain, Israel, France, India and China and its 5,000 employees

The acquisition’s price tag includes debt. NDS owed about $1 billion in debt at the end of 2011.

Boards of both companies have approved the deal, and it’s expected to close in the second half of 2012.

Cisco shares dipped 15 cents to $20.05 in premarket trading Thursday.