TiVo Shares Surge on News of Rovi Merger Talks

TiVo stock leaps 20 percent on a report that company is in advanced talks to combine with Rovi

TiVo may be fast-forwarding to a marriage with Rovi.

The digital video recorder company is in advanced talks to be bought by Rovi, a company that makes digital guides and collates information about TV shows, movies and music, the New York Times reported Thursday, citing unnamed people briefed on the negotiations.

TiVo shares rocketed 20 percent higher to $9.22 on the news.

The exact price is still undetermined, the Times report said. TiVo shareholders would likely own about 30 percent of the combined company and would receive a mixture of cash and stock in the deal with Rovi, which holds a large stockpile of patents for digital entertainment devices.

Both TiVo and Rovi declined TheWrap’s requests for comment.

Tivo, perhaps the greatest force in popularizing DVRs to record TV and skip its ads, has been aiming to focus on Internet-based media services as well as expansion overseas to reignite growth.

TiVo CEO Thomas Rogers this month spoke of the company’s need “to chart a new path.” Meanwhile, U.S. regulators have proposed loosening cable companies’ grip on television set-top boxes, which could bolster TiVo as an alternative choice for pay-TV customers.

Rovi has a market value of about $1.7 billion, while TiVo was worth about $750 million prior to its stock surge on the merger speculation.

Rovi shares were 1.6 percent higher at $20.39 in recent trading.

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