BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY) Sells R&D Facility to Volkswagen Unit

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (NASDAQ:BB) entered an agreement to sell its research and development (R&D) facility in Germany to the automobile infotainment systems unit of Volkswagen AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:VLKAY), according to report from the Wall Street Journal.

The Canadian smartphone manufacturer confirmed the sale of its R&D facility in Germany to Volkswagen Infotainment GmbH, but it did not disclose the acquisition price.

According to the spokesperson of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), Volkswagen Infotainment GmbH agreed to assume the office leases of the smartphone manufacturer’s research center. The German company would also absorb the 200 employees of the Canadian smartphone manufacturer at its product development center in Bochum, Germany.

In a statement, Volkswagen AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:VLKAY) said the acquisition of the R&D facility of BlackBerry Ltd (NASADAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) would enable it to accelerate its development of technologies that could be used by drivers to manage next-generation in-car infotainment systems, and to ultimately to connect to shopping malls, gas stations, and other cars to avoid line-ups and other traffic disruptions.

“Around the globe, our customers’ aspirations will change rapidly, leading to shortened cycles of innovation for systems and functions. In order to be able to meet these challenges it is necessary for us to broaden and expand our options through additional know-how,” according to Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neuber, an executive of Volkswagen AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:VLKAY).

Last month, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) reported improved financial results for the first quarter that ended March 31. The company generated $0.04 earnings per share including non-cash accounting gain and $966 million in revenue.

The quarterly financial performance of the Canadian smartphone manufacturer outperformed the expectations of Wall Street analysts, which also showed an indication of an early sign of recovery.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said, “Our performance in fiscal Q1 demonstrates that we are firmly on track to achieve important milestones, including our financial objectives and delivering a strong product portfolio… Looking forward, we are focusing on our growth plan to enable our return to profitability.

One of the strategies of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) to achieve its goal of returning to profitability is to market its QNX software to automakers. The software allows drivers to connect with their in-car multimedia systems using their mobile devices.