Samsung: we were never interested in RIM

Samsung yesterday sternly rejected a recent report claiming it was in talks with Research In Motion to possibly buy all or part of the handset maker.

Speaking to Reuters, Samsung spokesperson James Chung said that his company has not "considered acquiring" RIM and is "not interested" in buying the BlackBerry maker. He added that neither company approached the other to try to create an acquisition deal.

Mobile blog Boy Genius Report cited sources yesterday, claiming that Samsung and RIM were in talks and that the companies were nearing an acquisition deal. One of the blog's sources went so far as to say that RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie was "going hard after Samsung". The blog also reported that RIM was seeking US$12 billion to US$15 billion in a possible sale.

Although Samsung has thrown cold water on the rumour, other companies have been interested in the BlackBerry maker. Last year, it was revealed that Amazon considered putting in a bid for RIM before eventually backing away. Microsoft and Nokia were also reportedly considering offering a joint bid for RIM, but they never followed through.

It has been widely believed that RIM's co-CEOs have been loath to even consider selling the company, deciding instead to try to turn the firm around. However, with RIM's mobile market share slumping and its stock sliding 73 per cent in the last year alone, investors have been calling on the company to reconsider.

"Jaguar believes that RIM should sell its handset business and monetise its patent portfolio, while retaining its service business under new leadership," Jaguar Financial, a RIM investor, said in a statement last year. "Jaguar believes RIM has lost its ability to compete in the consumer hardware business and a sale or spin-out to its shareholders of the handset business is recommended as an approach to restoring value."

If the latest rumours surrounding RIM's future dealings is to be believed, the company might be starting to listen to investors. Just last week, Reuters reported that RIM has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to help it field potential buyout offers. However, just because a company hires an investment bank, it doesn't mean that any moves will happen soon. Yahoo hired investment banks months ago to field potential buyout bids, and so far, it has done nothing.

Even so, for companies interested in acquiring RIM, the BlackBerry maker is more of a bargain now than ever. As of this writing, the firm's market cap — a measure of a company's value — stands at US$9.15 billion.

RIM shares are down over 6 per cent in pre-market trading today after Samsung confirmed that it's not interested in acquiring the company.


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