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KIT Digital Continues Acquisitions Spree with Megahertz and Accela

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Prague-based KIT digital has bought UK-based Megahertz Broadcast Systems Ltd. (MHz) from its Canadian parent company, Azcar Technologies, in a $2.7m deal concluded at IBC.

"We're extremely excited about it. It extends our footprint for systems integration significantly west," said Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, chairman and CEO, KIT digital.

KIT digital additionally acquired U.S.-based Accela Communications-a provider of on-demand, video-based enablement and measurement tools-for $4.7 million.

About 70-75% of KIT digital's revenue comes from digital content management software, primarily used by IPTV and telcos worldwide; the rest is from broadcast systems integration (mainly concentrated on Eastern Europe and Asia). Isaza Tuzman believes that the acquisition of MHz will enable it to become a global brand in professional services.

"It takes us into a market [IPTV and media asset management] we've not had the expertise and experience to get to. That's the way technology is growing," added MHz managing director, Frances Jarvis.

Jarvis believes that MHz offers KIT "a lead in the traditional markets that they want to use to enhance their company. They don't have any of our strengths, such as coachbuilding."

Isaza Tuzman hopes the acquisition will assist "bridging the gap between traditional broadcast and new media for our customers, as we offer global professional service and implementation capabilities which are demanded by large customers and are notably absent in our competitive segment."

The combined company will employ about 600 worldwide, with some 270 in professional services.

Megahertz builds OB vehicles, studios, server-based playout, and installs earth stations, with such clients as Al Jazeera, APTN (UK), ART, BBC, British Telecom, BSkyB, CNN, eTV (South Africa), Fiji TV, Kuwait TV, Qatar Radio & TV, RTBF, RTE, SIS, Telenor, TF1 and TV4 Sweden.

Accela's online video platform, AccelaCast, serves corporate customers, including Alcatel-Lucent, EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, Motorola, SA,P and Xerox. Accela sells both directly and through value-added reseller relationships-sales channels which will now apply to the broader KIT VX solution set sold by KIT digital.

KIT VX-one is end-to-end software for acquiring, managing and distributing video across PCs mobile devices, and IPTV-enabled TV sets, with more than 1,000 customers across 40+ countries, including The Associated Press, Best Buy, Disney-ABC, FedEx, General Motors, Google and Hewlett-Packard.

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