BlackBerry to buy cybersecurity firm Cylance for $1.4 billion

FILE PHOTO: A sign is displayed on the building Blackberry’s offices in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, May 29, 2018. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

(Reuters) – BlackBerry Ltd said on Friday it will acquire Cylance, an artificial intelligence and cybersecurity company, for $1.4 billion in cash to help expand its QNX unit that makes software for next-generation autonomous cars.

Besides the cash component, the deal includes the assumption of Cylance’s unvested employee incentives, BlackBerry said.

California-based Cylance develops AI-based products to prevent cyberattacks on companies and recently considered filing for an IPO, according to a report in Business Insider.

The Canadian technology company, which dominated the smartphone market a decade ago, has shifted to selling software to manage mobile devices in addition to focusing on emerging areas like autonomous cars.

Cylance will operate as a separate business unit within BlackBerry, the company said.

Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair

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