Samsung denies interest in acquiring RIM

Samsung Electronics said it has no interest in acquiring BlackBerry maker Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) or licensing its operating system, refuting a blog report that had sent RIM's shares up Tuesday on renewed takeover speculation.

"We haven't considered acquiring the firm and are not interested in (buying RIM)," Samsung spokesman James Chung told Reuters. Samsung also said it had not been approached by RIM about a takeover and that it is not interested in licensing RIM's software.

The blog Boy Genius Report reported early Tuesday that RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie had approached multiple companies that might be interested in RIM, but that no deal has been reached because RIM was asking too high a price. RIM declined to comment on the speculation. 

According to Reuters, some Asian handset makers without their own platform, including the likes of LG, HTC or ZTE, might be interested in RIM. "As we don't have our own platform, it's (RIM) an attractive option to look into and we're flexible about anything," an unnamed source at an Asian handset maker said.

RIM's stock experienced a similar swing in December after reports emerged that as well as a joint team of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) were considering takeover bids for the company. Those reports noted, however, that no formal offers were made. 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.

In a research note, Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu said that while "there is some intrinsic value in RIM as an acquisition target with its 75 million subscribers, patent portfolio, BlackBerry OS, and push network, we are unsure if a price of over $10 billion makes sense. Currently, the company has a market capitalization of $9.2 billion, meaning upside could be limited. We believe logical buyers are Amazon, Microsoft, Samsung and possibly Facebook."

However, Wu noted that Samsung is doing very well with Android, Microsoft has bet on the success of Windows Phone and that the "Canadian government may not allow an acquisition by a foreign company due to national security interests."

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article
- see this BGR post

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