IBM made an informal offer of interest in Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) enterprise services business, according to a Bloomberg report. The item is the latest in a flurry of reports about RIM's business strategy and prospects.
According to the report, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter, IBM is interested in RIM's proprietary network and switches that form the backbone of its BlackBerry services for enterprise customers. IBM and RIM declined to comment, according to Bloomberg.
Analysts have floated the idea of RIM splitting up its businesses by separating its enterprise business from its handset unit. The Bloomberg report said that, according to one source, no company is interested in buying all of RIM or its handset division. RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has said the company is squarely focused on restructuring and pushing ahead with its plans to launch the BlackBerry 10 platform in early 2013.
Berenberg Bank analysts have said RIM's enterprise business may be valued at between $1.5 billion and $2.5 billion, according to Bloomberg. Financial analysts have said they do not think RIM's assets would attract much interest from prospective buyers, especially given RIM's declining value in the market.
RIM is currently evaluating several "strategic opportunities," including partnerships, joint ventures, licensing BlackBerry 10 or even a possible sale of the company. The company has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. and RBC Capital Markets to look at the options but has given no hint of what it might decide.
- see this Bloomberg article
RIM mulls licensing BlackBerry 10 to rival device makers
RIM to release four BlackBerry 10 smartphones in early 2013
Report: RIM CEO's optimistic comments may spark lawsuits
RIM delays BlackBerry 10 until Q1 2013
Analysts: RIM's tumbling value makes sale unlikely