BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to wholly acquire Cylance, an artificial intelligence and cybersecurity leader, for US $1.4 billion in cash, plus the assumption of unvested employee incentive awards. Pending regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to close prior to the end of BlackBerry’s current fiscal year (February 2019).
“Cylance’s leadership in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity will immediately complement our entire portfolio, UEM and QNX in particular. We are very excited to onboard their team and leverage our newly combined expertise,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry. “We believe adding Cylance’s capabilities to our trusted advantages in privacy, secure mobility, and embedded systems will make BlackBerry Sparkindispensable to realizing the Enterprise of Things.”
According to Gartner in its most recent Internet of Things Backbone Survey: security was cited as the top barrier to IoT success (35%), with privacy concerns (25%), and potential risks and liabilities (25%) also in the top five.
Cylance is a pioneer in applying artificial intelligence, algorithmic science, and machine learning to cybersecurity software that has proven highly effective at predicting and preventing known and unknown threats to fixed endpoints. The fast-growing company has become a market leader with an advanced and lightweight agent that resides on the endpoint, operates both online and off, and requires a minimum of memory and power to function. Founded in 2012, Cylance generates highly recurring revenue from over 3,500 active enterprise customers, including more than 20% of the Fortune 500.
“Our highly skilled cybersecurity workforce and market leadership in next-generation endpoint solutions will be a perfect fit within BlackBerry where our customers, teams and technologies will gain immediate benefits from BlackBerry’s global reach,” said Stuart McClure, Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Cylance. “We are eager to leverage BlackBerry’s mobility and security strengths to adapt our advanced AI technology to deliver a single platform.”
BlackBerry Spark is a next-generation secure chip-to-edge communications platform for the EoT that will create and leverage trusted connections between any endpoint. Designed for ultra-security and industry-specific safety-certifications, such as ISO 26262 in automobiles, BlackBerry Spark will leverage the company’s deep portfolio of technology that includes FIPS-validated, app-level, AES 256-bit encryption to ensure data is always protected. BlackBerry Spark enables organizations to comply with stringent multi-national regulatory requirements. In fact, BlackBerry is the only EoT platform provider to achieve Common Criteria EAL4+ for both iOS and Android, offering the highest level of security in the market.
BlackBerry expects that after the anticipated close of the transaction, Cylance will operate as a separate business unit within BlackBerry Limited.
Investor conference call details
BlackBerry will host an investor conference call beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET, Friday, November 16, 2018. The call can be accessed by dialing (866) 393-4306 and providing Conference ID #2284588, or live streamed on the company’s website at http://ca.blackberry.com/company/investors/events.html.
A replay of the call will be available on November 16, 2018 by dialing (855) 859-2056 and entering Conference ID #2284588.
Additional details on the acquisition and the two companies can be found at BlackBerry.com/Investors.
Perella Weinberg Partners LP acted as exclusive financial advisor and Morrison Foerster LLP acted as legal advisor to BlackBerry. Cylance was advised on the transaction by Morgan Stanley and Jones Day.