Dolby to Acquire Algorithm Firm Coding Technologies

Dolby Laboratories will acquire Coding Technologies, a Swedish company that provides audio compression technologies. Price tag: a quarter of a billion U.S. dollars.

Coding Technologies is familiar to radio broadcast engineers for its aacPlus algorithm and SBR technology, as well as its research into 5.1 surround for digital radio applications. Coding Technologies algorithms are used in DAB+ and DRM.

Coding Technologies also makes audio compression for the digital television, mobile and Internet markets. Dolby said the deal expands its technology portfolio and expertise for "emerging low-bandwidth media applications."

Dolby President and CEO Bill Jasper said the deal means Dolby "will be better positioned to support our customers as they continue to move into more bandwidth-constrained delivery methods such as mobile networks and the Internet."

Dolby, based in San Francisco, has built its business around audio entertainment; it is active in cinema, broadcast, home audio systems, cars and other consumer electronics niches. In fiscal 2007 it had revenues of US$482 million.

The acquisition has not yet closed. "Certain minority equity interests of Coding Technologies will remain outstanding and will be subject to mandatory buyout procedures under Swedish law," Dolby stated.