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SeaChange to sell off Broadcast and Storage business

With margins for storage and related hardware diminishing and the demand for video streaming to multiple platforms on the rise, SeaChange International, based in Acton, Mass., announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its broadcast server and storage business to a group of venture capitalists. This will allow SeaChange to focus on its core software and services operations, including its back office, video streamers, gateway software and advertising delivery products.

The sale to a group of financial investors that includes VantagePoint Capital Partners, is expected to be complete in May 2011 or sooner, depending upon regulatory approvals. The resulting new, independent company will be named XOR Media and be led by Zheng Gao, current president of SeaChange Storage and Servers, who will become CEO of the new entity.

“We are excited about the opportunity to take an industry-leading business unit and make it an even more successful independent company,” Gao said. “XOR Media is a new business entity in name, but the same team and processes will be there for our loyal client base.”

He said his new company will focus on developing and bringing to market next-generation storage platforms that combine the advantages of network attached storage (NAS) and storage are networks (SAN) to enable users to support a variety of media consumption platforms simultaneously. This includes the use of cloud-based workflows and “media-optimized” servers and the Blue Whale File System utilized by SeaChange’s (now XOR Media’s) Universal MediaLibrary storage systems.

“This divestiture is an important part of our strategy to transform SeaChange into a pure play software company, significantly reduce our overall cost structure, and strengthen our ability to compete in delivering next generation multiscreen video solutions, while generating cash,” said Raghu Rau CEO at SeaChange. “It’s important to note that this sale is not a parting of ways between SeaChange and the new company XOR Media. We will continue to work together to offer our customers a complete solution. We see this divestiture as a step toward a future relationship‚ not the ending of one.”

As a result of the change in business, SeaChange said it would now have the flexibility to offer customers server and storage products from any company, including XOR Media, as part of its intelligent video delivery and storage platform. SeaChange said it would continue to provide customer service and support to all of its VOD streaming service provider customers and will also provide customer service and support to any customers who purchase storage products as part of its reseller agreement with XOR Media.

SeaChange will be exhibiting its current broadcast server and storage product lines at the 2012 NAB Show (Booth N2830).