RIM sells Dublin firm NewBay at steep discount
BlackBerry parent Research in Motion (RIM) has offloaded its Irish mobile development unit NewBay at a steep discount to US mobile content firm Synchronoss.
The Canadian company bought the Dublin-based cloud services firm for a reported $100 million in October 2011.
At the time, the acquisition was seen by observers as a way for RIM to compete with file hosting and sync services, such as Apple iCloud, Amazon Cloud Drive and Google Docs (now Google Drive).
However, New Jersey-based Synchronoss confirmed this week that it had acquired NewBay from RIM for $55.5 million in cash, saying the transaction had been completed at the end of the fourth quarter of 2012.
Synchronoss, which employs 30 people at a research and development centre in Galway, has been on an aggressive buying spree.
The Nasdaq-listed company recently acquired mobile social networking company Miyowa and mobile contact and content management provider FusionOne.
Chief executive Stephen Waldis said that adding NewBay’s technology assets and its millions of subscribers would bolster the company’s international presence.
RIM has so far declined to comment on the NewBay sale or on speculation the sale may have been prompted by a deterioration in its financial position.
The company’s BlackBerry products have been struggling to keep pace with innovations from rivals Samsung and Apple. The company is counting on its BlackBerry 10 model, due out later this year, to arrest a precipitous decline in market share over the past three years.
It remains to be seen, however, if the sale of NewBay signals an end to its ambitions in the cloud storage area.
NewBay, which employs 200 staff at its head office on Pearse Street, Dublin, develops mobile software which enables users to create and share digital content such as pictures and videos, as well as updating social networks.
It has signed deals for its software with major mobile networks including T-Mobile USA, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica O2, France Telecom Orange, US Cellular, ATT, Telstra and Verizon. A NewBay spokesperson was unavailable for comment yesterday.