BlackBerry Limited announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire artificial intelligence and cyber-security firm Cylance for $1.4 billion, 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 applies artificial intelligence, algorithmic science, and machine learning to cyber-security software that predicts and prevents known and unknown threats to fixed endpoints. The company’s lightweight agent resides on the endpoint, operates both online and off, and requires a minimum of memory and power to function.

Cylance generates highly recurring revenue from over 3,500 active enterprise customers, including more than 20 percent of the Fortune 500.

BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen said in a statement that Cylance's capabilities will be key to the BlackBerry Spark platform. BlackBerry Spark is a secure chip-to-edge communications platform that is designed to create and leverage trusted connections between any endpoint.

BlackBerry expects that after the anticipated close of the transaction, Cylance will operate as a separate business unit within BlackBerry Limited.