VMware said Wednesday it will pay as much as $1.5 billion to acquire AirWatch, one of the leaders in the growing area of mobile device management.

The company will pay $1.175 billion in cash and $365 million in installment payments and assumed equity.

AirWatch CEO John Marshall will remain in charge of the group as part of VMware’s End-User Computing group, led by Sanjay Poonen, EVP and GM.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based AirWatch has 1,600 employees and more than 10,000 customers and competes against the likes of BlackBerry and Good Technology.

The deal is expected to close late in the first quarter, the companies said.



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