SeaChange wraps up spinoff of broadcast server, storage unit

Video-on-demand software specialist SeaChange International (Nasdaq: SEAC) said it has closed the sale of its broadcast server and storage business to XOR Media, completing its first major step toward becoming a pure-play software company.

The spinoff of XOR Media, formerly SeaChange Broadcast, was bankrolled by a U.S. VC company, and leaves intact a unit that includes ingest and playout codecs MediaClient and MediaServer; and the shared grid, and scalable Universal MediaLibrary storage.

"This sale is an important part of our strategy to transform SeaChange into a pure play software company," said SeaChange CEO Raghu Rau. "Now that the transaction is complete, we can focus on our core software and services operations, including our next generation back office, video streamers, gateway software and advertising solutions."

Rau said he expects minimal impact on customers since XOR Media's management and product line is essentially unchanged.

"XOR Media is a new business entity in name, but the same team and processes are here to ensure business continuity for our customers," XOR Media CEO Zheng Gao said. "The feedback we have been receiving on XOR Media is very encouraging, and we are excited to launch new opportunities for XOR Media's open, cloud-capable, and media-optimized servers and storage."
Moving forward, SeaChange will become a reseller of XOR Media, but it said it plans to work with other server and storage vendors as well.

As part of the deal, XOR Media launches with an installed base of some 300 top-tier customers; 12,000 channels on air; and 11PB of managed data. Headquartered in New Hampshire, it has some 180 employees and sales offices around the world.

The Acton, Mass.-based company has had a tumultuous year.

In December, after failing to find its sweet spot for several quarters, the company's chief executive and founder Bill Styslinger, retired. Rau became interim CEO; he took over permanently last month.

In February, the company announced president and longtime SeaChange exec Yvette Kanouff was leaving the company, saying it had no plans to replace her, part of an ongoing drive to cut $5 million costs that included thinning employee ranks as well.

The company saw first quarter earnings dip, and Rau reiterated that it would continue to morph itself into a pure-play software provider and said it was actively seeking buyers for other non-core segments of the company that don't fit into its long-term strategy.

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