US networking giant Cisco announced on Thursday it is buying digital video company NDS Group for approximately $5 billion. NDS, which was founded in Israel but is based in Britain, is owned by Permira, a private equity fund, and Rupert Murdoch\'s media and entertainment giant News Corp. The San Jose, California-based Cisco said the acquisition of NDS will accelerate the delivery of its Videoscape entertainment platform. NDS provides video software and content security solutions for service providers and media companies. \"Our strategy has always been driven by customer need and on capturing market transitions,\" Cisco chairman and chief executive John Chambers said. \"Our acquisition of NDS fits squarely into this strategy, enabling content and service providers to deliver new video solutions that leverage the cloud and drive new monetization opportunities and service differentiation,\" Chambers said. In a statement, Cisco said \"acquiring NDS will broaden Cisco\'s opportunities in the service provider market, expanding its reach into emerging markets, such as China and India, where NDS has an established customer footprint. \"This acquisition reflects Cisco\'s increased strategic focus on video, one of its five foundational priorities, and its investment in software and services revenue streams and competencies,\" Cisco said. NDS executive chairman Abe Peled said \"Cisco and NDS are helping drive the transition that will enable service providers and media companies to offer new revenue-generating video experiences. \"NDS\'s open software video platform and services are highly complementary to Cisco technology, and together we are uniquely positioned to enable service providers to deliver fresh and exciting multi-screen video services to their customers,\" Peled said. Cisco said it will pay approximately $5 billion for NDS, including the assumption of debt and retention-based incentives. It said the transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close in the second half of the year. NDS has some 5,000 employees based in Britain, Israel, France, India and China.