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RIM Eats Chalk

Yesterday RIM announced its take-over bid for Certicom. Now the company is acquiring Chalk Media Corp. Perhaps Steve Jobs needs to burrow down in the trenches and get ready for a storm.

Today Research In Motion sent out a press release announcing that the company will acquire the publicly-held Chalk Media Corp in an all-cash transaction at a price per share of CDN $0.142, or CDN $23,125,000. RIM has also forked over an additional CDN $2.2 million loan to Chalk so that the developer can continue operations until the acquisition completes.

Chalk is best known for its Mobile Chalkboard application for Blackberry smartphones including the 7100, 8700, 8100 Pearl, 8800 and 8300 Curve. The application suite enables the rapid creation and secure, tracked deployment of media-rich pushcasts; these facilitate targeted content delivery with notifications and can include large media assets, tests, PowerPoint slides, and surveys according to the company. In a nutshell, Chalk's application is widely used in corporate training while on the road, however Mobile Chalkboard can also push any type of enterprise media to numerous devices. Chalk's pushcasts can be accessed without wireless connectivity, as the content is pushed onto the device whenever there is network coverage and stored until needed. Customers with Blackberry devices can also use the Mobile Dashboard features as well.

According to Chalk, the company's board of directors approved of the acquisition after consulting with its financial and legal advisors and recommended that the shareholders vote in favor of the transaction. "Chalk's directors and several members of management, and certain other shareholders of Chalk, who collectively hold 34,042,652 shares representing approximately 20.9% of Chalk's issued and outstanding common shares, have entered into support agreements with RIM pursuant to which they have agreed to vote their shares in favor of the transaction," the press release reports.

Both RIM and Chalk expect the transaction to close in February 2009 pending if the shareholders actually agree to the acquisition. RIM seems unusually active as of late, announcing just yesterday its commencement to take over encryption vendor Certicom Corp by purchasing all of the company's outstanding common shares. By purchasing both development companies, RIM positions itself as a valid contender in the mobile device ring, especially when considering Apple's iPhone as the main opponent.

Formerly Chalk was a member of the Blackberry Independent Software Vendors Alliance program, a system that allows developers to create applications for the Blackberry platform. The alliance offers companies full marketing support, branding and logo resources, limited technical support and more. Recently Mobile Chalkboard was a recipient in the Best of 2008 Reader's Choice Awards, scoring a thumbs up in the Mobile Learning category.