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Civolution Sells NexGuard Anti-Piracy Tech Business to Kudelski Group

Civolution has sold its forensic-watermarking business, NexGuard Labs, whose technology lets content owners track pirated copies of digital content, to Switzerland-based Kudelski Group — marking Civolution’s third and final divestiture.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. With the NexGuard sale, Civolution does not own any operational businesses anymore. The Netherlands-based holding company will continue to exist, as it owns some other assets related to its divestures.

The NexGuard sale comes after Civolution in December 2014 sold its audio-watermarking business to Kantar Media and in July 2015 sold the Teletrax television analytics business to 4C. “I would like to thank all Civolution staff for their hard work and dedication, and Amsterdam-based Prime Ventures for its support during this exciting journey,” Civolution chairman Alex Terpstra said in a statement.

NexGuard Labs’ video-watermarking technology is used by major Hollywood studios and TV networks, including AMC Networks. That lets content owners embed digital IDs in video that are undetectable by viewers in order to trace the source of pirated material.

Kudelski said NexGuard’s platform will complement Kudelski’s existing watermarking technology, anyMARK, and will be available on all of Kudelski’s digital television products. NexGuard Labs is based in the Netherlands with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Dubai and Rennes, France.

“The acquisition of NexGuard further strengthens our content-protection offering and represents a key milestone in executing our growth strategy in security,” said André Kudelski, chairman and CEO of Kudelski Group.

Civolution, based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, was founded in 2008 as a spin-out from Royal Philips Electronics and backed from its formation by Dutch venture-capital firm Prime Ventures.

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