Combined Company Becomes Undisputed Leader in Delivery Of Advanced Media Center Platforms and Services
KIRKLAND, Wash. and PALO ALTO, Calif., March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- In a move that will strengthen and accelerate the development and delivery of advanced media center platforms and iTV services, Kirkland-based Digeo, Inc. and Palo Alto-based Moxi Digital, Inc. announced today the signing of a definitive agreement to join forces under the name of Digeo, Inc. Fortified by additional funding from lead investor Vulcan Inc., the merger will create the industry's clear leader in the delivery of integrated media center platforms and services for cable and satellite operators. Through this merger, the two companies will fuse their intellectual capital, market traction, proprietary technologies and respective product strengths. The new Digeo will pursue its vision of simultaneously enhancing and simplifying the consumer home entertainment experience by leveraging its strong partnerships with leading companies such as Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT - news) and Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR - news).
The new company will be under the visionary leadership of Paul G. Allen in the role of Digeo's chairman of the board, as well as the guidance of board members Jim Billmaier, CEO of Digeo; Carl Vogel, CEO of Charter Communications; William Savoy, president of Vulcan; Edward Harris, senior investment analyst of Vulcan; and Kevin Fong, general partner of Mayfield.
The new company's leadership team will be a mix of Digeo and Moxi(TM) senior management. Digeo CEO Jim Billmaier will become CEO of the new company. Moxi CEO Rita Brogley will become EVP of business development and marketing. Digeo President of Advanced Systems Larry Weber will continue in his role. Digeo SVP Bert Kolde will assume the role of COO. Moxi VP of Engineering Toby Farrand will become CTO.
``This merger will allow us to deliver a family of media center platforms more rapidly,'' said Paul Allen. ``Besides having the power of a PC, they are incredibly easy-to-use and can also run many exciting new applications that range from personal video recording to digital photo sharing to wireless home networking. Their introduction will define a new benchmark for the next generation of set-top boxes.''
``Digeo and Moxi have been working along parallel paths to implement very similar visions,'' said Digeo CEO Jim Billmaier. ``Integration of the two companies will be swift, our efforts will be amplified, and we'll deliver an even better media center platform to market sooner. We believe these new platforms will be very attractive to cable and satellite companies looking for new revenue opportunities.''
``My goal for establishing a world-class technology company that would revolutionize home entertainment has been realized by Moxi joining forces with Digeo and Paul Allen,'' said Steve Perlman, founder and vice chairman of Moxi.
Unified Product Vision Combined with Real Market Traction
Earlier this year, both Digeo and Moxi announced plans to introduce affordable media center platforms that provide network operators and entertainment companies with new revenue streams through the deployment of advanced applications. Beyond their similar product visions, the companies have both been squarely focused on moving their products out of the lab and into consumer's homes.
Motorola, Inc.'s Broadband Communications Sector is manufacturing a new class of advanced set-top devices collaboratively designed with Digeo, called ``broadband media centers.'' The first model -- the BMC8000 -- is a companion device for Motorola's widely deployed DCT2000 digital set-top; and the second -- the BMC9000 -- is an integrated system.
Charter Communications plans to begin rapid deployment of this advanced media center platform in 2002 and has already deployed Digeo's Basic iTV service to more than 558,000 homes, making it the most widely deployed cable iTV service in North America.
Over the coming months, the new Digeo will integrate its products and technologies into a single, unified offering that takes full advantage of the combined strengths and extends its market leadership. For instance, through the rapid deployment of its Basic iTV service, Digeo has keen knowledge of the back-end infrastructure and operations necessary to deploy services into a subscriber's home. In contrast, Moxi has invested considerable time developing a robust platform capable of reliably and efficiently managing the routing of multiple media streams throughout the home.
``This merger is a win-win situation for the consumer and cable industry alike,'' said Carl Vogel, Charter Communications' CEO. ``By combining the respective strengths of each company, Digeo will provide us with a platform far superior to today's advanced boxes, enabling us to continue to lead the industry in delivering a rich, engaging experience to customers.''
``This merger demonstrates Digeo's strong commitment to deliver on the promise of interactive entertainment -- bringing it not only into consumers' living rooms, but distributing it throughout their homes,'' said Dave Robinson, president of Motorola Broadband. ``We look forward to working with the newly combined company to launch our broadband media centers with Charter, beginning later this year, and with the other operators who are eagerly anticipating our BMC introduction at this year's NCTA Show.''
Strong IP and Team in Place to Drive Digeo Deployment
The combined company will retain its talented team of 328 employees from such leading corporations as Microsoft/WebTV, TiVo, Apple, Diva, Palm, ReplayTV, Cisco, Sun, NBC and CBS.
The two companies also bring together a total of 278 patents, pending and awarded, covering key areas related to delivering advanced home entertainment services.
In addition to the new funding from Vulcan Inc., Digeo is also backed by AOL Time Warner, The Barksdale Group, Charter Communications, Cisco, EchoStar Communications, Macromedia, Mayfield and The Washington Post Company.
The new company will maintain dual headquarters in Kirkland and Palo Alto.
Digeo will maintain all rights associated with Moxi and the Moxi logo.
Digeo was advised by Greenbridge Partners LLC, its M&A financial advisor on this transaction.
NOTE: Digeo, the Digeo logo, Moxi and the Moxi logo are trademarks of Digeo, Inc. All other companies or products listed herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
SOURCE: Moxi Digital, Inc.