BlackBerry to acquire AtHoc

Canadian-handset manufacturer BlackBerry Ltd has signed a definitive agreement to acquire AtHoc, a leading provider of secure, networked crisis communications, for an undisclosed sum.

AtHoc's software platform enables people, devices and organisations to exchange critical information in real time during business continuity and life safety operations.

The acquisition will enable AtHoc to expand globally and increase scale, as well as deliver new applications on a secure platform for mass communication. For example, new applications may include integrating AtHoc solutions with BBM Meetings during an alert to enable live video feeds or transmit messages to provide real-time collaboration by leaders and decision makers, BlackBerry said in a statement.

AtHoc's networked crisis communications platform alerts any device – including iOS, Android, PC and Mac desktops, digital displays, radios, IP phones, and endpoints such as sirens, fire panels and speakers – helping organisations and people to connect and share information in times of crisis.

''BlackBerry is making strategic investments in security, privacy and the Internet of Things, and acquiring AtHoc will enable us to provide a holistic, end-to-end approach to communications,'' said John Chen, BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO.

''AtHoc and BlackBerry share a common vision of a securely connected world,'' said Guy Miasnik, President and CEO, AtHoc. ''Becoming part of BlackBerry will give us the ability to scale more quickly to expand our global reach and introduce new applications for the AtHoc platform, while continuing to serve our government and enterprise customers.''

The transaction is expected to be completed in BlackBerry's 2016 fiscal third quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions.