Civolution Acquires Thomson Watermarking Unit

Consolidates content identification technology
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Civolution, the content identification specialist firm that was spun out of Philips Royal Electronics last fall, has broadened its product portfolio by acquiring the Software & Technology Solutions (STS) watermarking business from French conglomerate Thomson.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, though Civolution says that Thomson will become a shareholder in Civolution as part of the acquisition. The newly integrated Civolution business will be exhibiting at the upcoming IBC 2009 conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands in September.

“In these volatile economic times, we aim to become the most secure and trusted player in the industry offering our customers unrivalled technical excellence and support,” said Civolution CEO Alex Terpstra in a statement. “The combination of the Thomson STS team, with its rich heritage as an innovative developer of technologies, and the ground-breaking expertise of the Civolution team, creates a uniquely talented group.”

Civolution was formed in October 2008 after Philips, which was a joint owner of the Teletrax content-tracking firm with Medialink Worldwide, bought the 76% of Teletrax it didn’t own to create its own content identification unit and then spun off the business as Civolution. At the same time, Civolution picked up major funding from venture firm Prime Technology Ventures, which has also funded the Thomson STS acquisition.

“We are delighted to support Civolution with this next strategic step to industry leadership, in line with PTV’s investment strategy,” said Sake Bosch, founder and managing partner at PTV, in a statement.

According to Civolution, Thomson is still interested in the content identification market and has agreed to collaborate with Civolution on technology for monetizing content, though it didn’t detail those plans. After a stream of acquisitions over the past few years, Thomson has undertaken a restructuring in recent months. It announced in January that it will now focus on providing services to content creators through businesses such as Technicolor and divest non-core assets, including its Grass Valley broadcast equipment division.

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