Ericsson buys Red Bee Media as it switches its TV base to London

ERICSSON, the telecoms equipment giant, has made a big move into the broadcasting world by buying London’s Red Bee Media.

Red Bee, which has 1,240 staff in the UK, provides a number of behind the scenes services such as digital publishing and video management to clients including BSkyB and BT.

Since so many of Ericsson’s new broadcast employees will now be based in the UK, the Swedish firm said it would move the headquarters of its broadcasting arm from Stockholm to London.

Ericsson said it was making the deal in order to bolster its own TV services. It said that as consumers increasingly watch video on a range of devices and over the internet, there is more demand for the sort of digital video management tools that firms like Red Bee offer.

The cost of the deal was not disclosed. Australian fund manager Macquarie, which had owned it beforehand, bought Red Bee for £166m in 2005 when it was spun off from the BBC. The deal is Ericsson’s third acquisition in the TV space in a year.