December 23, 2010 / 4:12 AM / in 7 years

Rovi to buy Sonic for $720 million, widens digital

<p>Divx Plus software is seen in this undated handout image. REUTERS/Divx Corp/Handout</p>

NEW YORK/BANGALORE (Reuters) - Rovi Corp will pay $720 million in cash and stock to buy Sonic Solutions, which owns the popular digital video player software DivX, in a bid to broaden its footprint across the digital entertainment space.

The Rovi deal follows Sonic’s purchase of DivX Inc in June for $323 million, which boosted Sonic’s Internet-based video delivery products.

The proposed combination of Rovi and Sonic will be better able to help Hollywood studio clients sell content in a fast-growing digital entertainment market, the companies said.

Consumers will be able to more easily find the content they want to watch, which may make them more willing to pay higher prices.

Rovi, which provides entertainment data, content protection and content networking technology, will offer $14.17 per share to Sonic shareholders, representing a premium of 26 percent over Sonic’s Wednesday close of $11.22 per share.

Under the agreement, Sonic shareholders may elect to receive either $14.00 or 0.2489 shares of Rovi common stock for each share. Cash consideration will constitute 55 percent of the total value of the offer, while rest will be in stock.

ROVI RAISES OUTLOOK

Rovi sees the deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2011, adding 5-10 cents per share to its adjusted earnings and to generate more than $15 million in savings in 2011.

Rovi also raised its outlook for fiscal 2010, and now expects revenue of $538-$542 million, and adjusted earnings of $2.08-$2.12 per share. Analysts were expecting earnings of $2.08 a share on revenue of $540.5 million for 2010, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sonic was advised by William Blair & Company, LLC. JPMorgan acted as financial adviser to the Rovi board.

Rovi stock closed at $58.3 Wednesday on Nasdaq.

Reporting by Nick Zieminski and Abhinav Sharma; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Muralikumar Anantharaman

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