Rumor Mill: RIM hires Goldman to explore strategic options

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Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) shares shot up Thursday on market speculation that the company had hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to explore strategic options.

RIM's shares spiked 5.3 percent in trading Thursday amid the latest flurry of speculation over whether the company will sell itself. The BlackBerry maker's stock experienced a similar swing in December after reports emerged that Amazon.com as well as a joint team of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) considered takeover bids for the company. Those reports noted, however, that no formal offers were made.

A RIM spokeswoman declined to comment, citing company policy of not commenting on rumors or speculation.

Most financial analysts have shot down the rumors, arguing that RIM's management is focused on turning around the company's fortunes and executing on the launch of its next-generation Blackberry 10 platform, now slated for late this year. Also, analysts note, there is not a natural buyer for RIM.

"There are several roadblocks that make an acquisition of RIM unlikely," Morningstar analyst Michael Holt recently wrote in a research note, according to AllThingsD. "We believe RIM should entertain all options at this point, given the serious challenges facing the firm, but there is little evidence to suggest RIM's board is open to offers at this point in time."

RIM is reportedly close to naming Barbara Stymiest, an independent director who joined RIM's board in 2007, as the new chairman of its board, indicating that investor pressure will likely push co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis out of their spots as co-chairmen.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this CNET article
- see this AllThingsD article

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