IBM in talks to buy Israel mobile software firm Red Bend: media

TEL AVIV Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:35am EDT

The IBM logo is seen outside the company's offices in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv October 24, 2011. REUTERS/Nir Elias

The IBM logo is seen outside the company's offices in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv October 24, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Nir Elias

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TEL AVIV (Reuters) - IBM Corp (IBM.N) is in advanced talks to buy Israel-based Red Bend Software, a provider of mobile phone software, for $200 million to $250 million, Israeli media reported on Thursday.

Red Bend provides software for device management and mobile virtualization, technology that enables multiple operating systems to run simultaneously on a mobile phone. It helps cellular phone manufacturers speed up new embedded services, respond swiftly to faults and reduce support costs via remote updates using the web.

The company has over 80 customers, including China Mobile, Intel, LG Electronics, Motorola, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Sharp and Sony Ericsson.

Officials at Red Bend were not immediately available for comment. A spokeswoman at IBM Israel said the company does not comment on rumors and speculation.

The Calcalist financial newspaper said this would be IBM's 12th acquisition in Israel and its second in the mobile sector.

(Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)

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