Pace plc

Pace plc
Traded as LSE: PIC
Grey Market: PCMXF
Industry Information technology
Fate Acquired by Arris Group
Founded 1982 by David Hood, Barry Rubery, Robert Fleming
Headquarters Saltaire, West Yorkshire, England
Key people
Allan Leighton, Chairman
Mike Pulli, CEO
Products set-top boxes, media servers, residential gateways, Elements software platform, ECO service management, optical networking
Revenue $2,620.0 million (2014)[1]
$180.9 million (2014)[1]
$148.0 million (2014)[1]

Pace plc was a British company who developed set-top boxes (STBs), advanced residential gateways, software and services for the pay-TV and broadband services industry. Pace's customers included cable, telco, satellite and IPTV operators. The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange until December 2015 when the company received the last of the regulatory clearances needed to allow a merger with Arris Group to proceed.


The company was founded as Pace Micro Technology plc in 1982 by Yorkshire born businessmen Barry Rubery, David Hood and Robert Fleming, it introduced the first low-cost commercially available modems in 1985.[2] In 1987 it started selling its first analogue satellite set-top receivers.[2] In 1995 it manufactured the world's first DVB decoders for Australian satellite company Galaxy.[2]

Pace was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1996.[2] In 1998 the company started shipping digital satellite television equipment for BSkyB.[2] In 1999, Pace purchased the set-top box division of Acorn Computers and converted it into its Cambridge office.[2] In the following years Pace owned the GUI RISC OS, and used technologies based on it in its decoder equipment. The Cambridge office was closed in 2003.[3]

Pace started delivering products to Comcast in the United States in 2000; the company also delivers to AT&T and DirecTV.[4] In 2001 Pace announced that it was outsourcing the last of the manufacturing capacity which remained at its location in Saltaire: the head office was reduced to an administration and development centre.[5]

Pace Micro Technology DC757X Set top box

In March 2002 Pace became the first company to market free-to-view personal video recorders (PVRs).[6] In 2005, Pace in conjunction with Australian subscription television provider Foxtel launched the first DVB-C PVR.[7] In April 2006 Neil Gaydon became CEO, taking over from John Dyson, and Mike McTighe became the chairman, taking over from Sir Michael Bett.[8]

In April 2008 Pace acquired the 'Set-Top Box and Connectivity Solutions' division of Royal Philips Electronics, approximately doubling the size of the company.[9] In May 2008 Pace changed its name from Pace Micro Technology plc to Pace plc.[10]

In 2010 Pace acquired US home networking equipment maker 2Wire,[11] IP and Cable specialist, Bewan Systems SA[12] and pay-TV software specialist, Latens Systems.[13]

In June 2011 Allan Leighton became chairman.[14] In December 2011 Neil Gaydon was replaced as CEO by Mike Pulli, formerly president of Pace Americas[15]

A significant milestone was reached in 2012 when Pace sold its 100 millionth digital set-top box.[2]

In January 2014, Pace completed the acquisition of Aurora Networks, a leading developer and manufacturer of advanced, next-generation optical transport and access network solutions for broadband networks.[16]

On 22 April 2015, the Boards of Pace and Arris Group announced that they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended combination of Pace with Arris, in a stock and cash deal that valued Pace at UKP £1.4Bn (USD $2.1Bn). The combination was conditional on, amongst other things, shareholder approval from both Pace and Arris shareholders and also the receipt of merger control clearances in a number of jurisdictions including Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Portugal, South Africa and the United States. The company received the last of the regulatory clearances needed to allow the merger to proceed in December 2015.[17] The acquisition was completed on Jan. 4, 2016. The resultant combined group is incorporated in the United Kingdom, but operationally managed from the United States, and is owned 24% by Pace shareholders and 76% by Arris shareholders.[18][19]


Pace's head office is in Saltaire, near Bradford in West Yorkshire. It occupies a large proportion of the Victorian textile mill complex called Salt's Mill. The company has major operations in the USA, France and India as well as the UK HQ.


The company's customers include:

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "Annual Report 2014" (PDF). Pace plc. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Corporate History". Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  3. Redundancies at Cambridge Pace office 27 March 2003
  4. Pace to Supply Digital Set Top Boxes to Comcast Cable Business Wire, 26 June 2000
  5. Gordon Brown investigates China Business Wire, 23 February 2005
  6. Pace launches Digital Free to View PVR Automated Home, 25 September 2002
  7. Pace to Launch World's First DVB Cable PDR for payTV Business Wire, 21 February 2005
  8. Gaydon named Pace CEO CED Magazine, 5 April 2006
  9. Pace buys Philips set top box business The Times Online, 19 December 2007
  10. "Pace Plc (PIC) Company Profile -". Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  11. "Pace to buy US broadband company". BBC News. 26 July 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  12. Pace Ups Tempo With Bewan Buy Light Reading, 2 March 2010
  13. Pace buys Irish software company Yorkshire Post, 4 November 2010
  14. Allan Leighton confirmed as Pace plc Chairman Pace, 21 June 2011
  15. "US boss takes over as head of Pace". The Yorkshire Post. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  16. Pace plc: Completion of Aurora Networks acquisition and Trading Update notification Pace, 7 January 2014
  17. "Brazil green light clears way for Arris completion of Pace deal". Digital Europe. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  18. "Recommended Combination of Pace and ARRIS". Pace plc. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  19. "ARRIS Completes Pace Acquisition: Combined companies to transform video and broadband delivery through broadened portfolio, global footprint, and customer base". Arris official website (press release). Arris. 4 January 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
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