Pace buys Irish software company

SET top box maker Pace has bought a Northern Irish software specialist in a deal worth up to £29m.

Saltaire-based Pace, the leading developer of digital TV technologies for the payTV industry, has bought Belfast-based Latens Systems, which specialises in software for the payTV market.

The consideration for the acquisition is payable in cash and will not exceed 28.75m, of which 10m is deferred and payable in 2012 subject to the achievement of conditions.

Last month Pace sealed its 301m acquisition of US broadband firm 2Wire.

The acquisition propels Pace to third in the global 'home hub' or 'residential gateway' market, taking it beyond its core market of set-top boxes.

The deal widens Pace's capabilities beyond cable and satellite to include telecoms, and is part of its plan to lead convergence in the digital home.

Shareholders overwhelmingly backed the acquisition.