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At last count, Fenwick & West partner Douglas Cogen had done 32 acquisitions on behalf of San Jose networking giant Cisco Systems since 2003. Every deal has been interesting, he said, because of the technology involved. But the company’s most recent acquisition may prove to be Cogen’s favorite. On Tuesday, Cisco acquired Pleasanton-based firm Arroyo Video Solutions for $92 million. The company, which was started by Novell founder Drew Major and former 3Com chief technology officer Paul Sherer, makes software that will allow consumers to watch videos on demand on potentially any electronic device. That’s exciting technology for anyone who considers missing an episode of “Desperate Housewives” a tragedy. “Video on demand is something people have been talking about since I came to Silicon Valley 10 years ago,” Cogen said. “Now, Cisco has the actual technology to make that a reality.” Analysts say Arroyo’s technology will improve viewers’ experience of watching what is known as time-shifted television on cable set-top boxes. With Arroyo’s technology, Cisco will eventually offer consumers a networked digital video recorder, allowing them to watch anything at any time on their televisions, computers, cell phones, iPods or BlackBerries. Content such as movies, television programming, streaming video and music will be stored on a remote server and be available to anyone with Internet access. “I don’t watch a lot of television, but when I do, I like to watch what I want when I want,” Cogen said. “TiVo enables this but you’re still limited by what TiVo captured from the TV schedule. True video on demand further liberates you from that constraint.” Arroyo’s Linux-based server software is interoperable with the television set-top boxes being manufactured by Scientific-Atlanta Inc. Cisco bought Scientific-Atlanta in November for $7 billion. Arroyo’s acquisition, which is on an all-cash basis, is expected to close at the end of October. The four-year-old company has 44 employees in California and Utah and will be integrated into Cisco’s Cable and Video Initiatives Group. The Fenwick transaction team included Mountain View partners Scott Spector, Michael Farn and Patrick Premo, along with associates Liza Morgan, Chad Woodford, Christopher Joslyn, Kris Withrow, Matt Forkner, Timothy Fitzgibbon and Joseph Belichick. San Francisco associates Gerald Audant, Morgan Fong and Daniel Brownstone were also part of the team. Cooley Godward special counsel Laura Medina in Colorado advised Arroyo in the deal.

Xenia P. Kobylarz

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