RIM to buy QNX Software from Harman International

TORONTO (Reuters) - Research In Motion RIM.TORIMM.O, which makes the BlackBerry smartphone, said on Friday it will buy QNX Software Systems from Harman International HAR.N for an undisclosed amount as it moves to boost integration of its devices with in-vehicle audio systems.

A BlackBerry smartphone user is pictured checking its Calendar in Washington, March 30, 2010. REUTERS/Stelios Varias

RIM, which is facing speculation that the popularity of the BlackBerry may be set to wane, said the acquisition would support certain unannounced product plans for so-called intelligent peripherals, but did not comment further.

“RIM is excited about the planned acquisition of QNX Software Systems and we look forward to ongoing collaboration between Harman, QNX and RIM to further integrate and enhance the user experience between smartphones and in-vehicle audio and infotainment systems,” said RIM President and Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis.

Stock in Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM rose 0.66 percent to C$70.26 in early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Ottawa, Ontario-based QNX Software Systems was founded in 1980 and acquired by Harman International in 2004.

The unit’s open platform operating system is deployed across multiple business sectors including automotive, industrial, telecommunications, medical, defense, and aerospace.

Stock of Harman International was up 1 percent at $48.95 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Harman, which competes with Bose, Yamaha and Sony Corp 6758.T in various markets, told Reuters in an interview in February that it was talking to potential acquisition targets in China, India and Brazil as the audio products company plans to spend up to $200 million in deals over the next 12 to 18 months. [nWNAB0099]

RIM said the deal would close within 35-45 days.

($1=$1.00 Canadian)

Reporting by Pav Jordan; editing by Peter Galloway