IBM acquires Clearleap; Harmonic to buy Thomson Video Networks for $90 million

In two major deals involving key pay-TV video services vendors, IBM has agreed to acquire Clearleap for an undisclosed sum, while Harmonic has entered an agreement to buy France's Thomson Video Networks in a deal valued at $90 million. 

Clearleap touts clients including HBO, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ). It provides these customers streaming video processing and asset management. The company provides these services as open APIs that will now be integrated into IBM's cloud-based services platform.

With video now consuming 70 percent of Internet traffic, according to Sandvine, IBM is trying to create a robust service portfolio that lets customers acquire, store, distribute and manage content. 

"Clearleap joins IBM at a tipping point in the industry when visual information and visual communication are not just important to consumers, but are exploding across every industry," said Robert LeBlanc, senior VP of IBM Cloud. "This comes together for a client when any content can be delivered quickly and economically to any device in the most natural way."

Added Clearleap CEO Braxton Jarratt: "With consumer demand for video growing exponentially, the business of creating compelling and personalized video experiences is booming … As a part of IBM, we can extend the capabilities and global reach of the Clearleap innovations to grow and scale like never before."

Harmonic, meanwhile, will pay $75 million in cash and $15 million in post-closing adjustments for Thomson, marking the merger of two companies specializing in video compression and infrastructure services. 

Among more than 800 companies, Thomson's client list includes BBC, Canal+, DirecTV, Foxtel, Telefonica and Vodafone. About 95 percent of Thomson's $77 million in annual revenue comes from outside the U.S.

The deal comes amid consolidation in the video infrastructure business -- in September, for example, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) acquired Envivio for $125 million, while Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) paid $500 million for Elemental Technologies. 

"This combination of Harmonic and TVN will, if completed, set the bar for video innovation globally," said Patrick Harshman, Harmonic's president and CEO, in a statement. "The combined product portfolios, R&D teams and global sales and service personnel would allow us to accelerate innovation for our customers while leveraging greater scale to drive operational efficiencies."

For more:
- read this IBM press release
- read this TechCrunch story
- read this Thompson press release
- read this Seeking Alpha post

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