Israel's NICE System Sells Surveillance Unit for Up to $100 Million

U.S. private equity firm buys unit in second spin-off by Nice in three months.

Bloomberg

REUTERS - NICE Systems is selling its video surveillance technologies unit to the U.S. private equity firm Battery Ventures for up to $100 million, its second divestment in three months as it focuses more on its core analytics business.

NICE, whose analytical software enables companies to spot fraud and fend off security threats, will receive $85 million in cash and as much as another $15 million based on future performance, it said on Monday.

The sale of NICE’s Physical Security business unit is scheduled to close during the third quarter and trim overall 2015 revenue by around $70 million.

NICE CEO Barak Eilam told Reuters the deal completes a strategic plan started a year ago to “divest less synergetic and less profitable companies.” In May, NICE sold its cyber and intelligence division to Israeli defense electronics firm Elbit Systems for up to $158 million.

NICE’s Tel Aviv-listed shares finished up 1.1% in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange trading at 246.20 shekels ($65.38).

NICE now is largely betting on its abilities to mine through big data to drive growth, as companies interact with customers in many ways, such as telephone, emails and chats. A smaller contribution will come from a business that sells financial crime and compliance products to banks and insurance to fight fraud and money laundering.

Eilam said that while NICE is focused on organic growth, it would remain active in mergers and acquisitions.

“We are in a great cash position and have the ability to do acquisitions,” he said.

As a result of the transaction, NICE projected third-quarter revenue of between $215 million and $225 million, down from a prior range of $236 million to $246 million while it lowered its adjusted earnings forecast to 65-71 cents a share on a diluted basis from 68-74 cents.

For all of 2015, NICE said it expects revenue of $914 million to $934 million, down from $985 million-$1.005 billion previously, and adjusted EPS of $2.97-$3.08, versus a prior estimate of $3.04-$3.15. NICE said it expects the divestiture to be non-dilutive to earnings in 2016.