BlackBerry, Samsung deny report of takeover talks

AP News
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Posted: Jan 14, 2015 9:58 PM

BlackBerry Ltd. and Samsung Electronics Co. denied a report that they are in talks for Samsung to make a takeover offer for the Canadian company.

"BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry," the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Samsung Electronics spokeswoman Jini Park said the report is "groundless" and the Korean company doesn't have a plan to purchase the Canadian company.

A Reuters report, citing a person that it didn't identify, said that executives met last week to discuss a potential deal. South Korea-based Samsung offered to buy BlackBerry for $13.35 to $15.49 per share, valuing the company at as much as $7.5 billion, according to the report.

BlackBerry stock jumped nearly 30 percent, or $2.89, Wednesday to close at $12.60. But it slid as much as 16 percent in aftermarket trading after the Canadian company denied the report.

Any foreign takeover would require approval from the Canadian government. Asked if the Canadian government has been approached about the deal, Jessica Fletcher, a spokeswoman for Canadian Industry Minister James Moore, said: "We don't comment on rumors and speculation."

BlackBerry has been unable to compete with Apple's iPhone or Android smartphones made by Samsung and other companies. It now holds a small fraction of the U.S. smartphone market. It had nearly half the market in 2009.

The company has been expanding its efforts to sell mobile-security software for its rivals' smartphones and tablets to help counter the waning popularity of its own devices.

It unveiled its latest phone, the Classic, in December. Aimed at the business user, the Classic has a traditional keyboard, unlike the touchscreens that are on the most popular smartphones. But whether BlackBerry will sell enough of them to stay relevant in the hardware business is unclear.