Tech blog says RIM eyes sale to Samsung; shares jump

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 17, 2012 1:39 PM
Tech blog says RIM eyes sale to Samsung; shares jump

(Reuters) - Shares of Research In Motion jumped more than 8 percent on Tuesday after a tech blog said the BlackBerry maker was actively seeking to sell itself to South Korean smartphone rival Samsung Electronics.

The Boy Genius Report website cited an unidentified source saying that RIM co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie was meeting with companies interested in either licensing its software or buying a part or all of RIM, with Samsung leading the pack.

RIM's Nasdaq-listed shares were up 8.5 percent at $17.55 by early afternoon, while the Toronto-listed stock rose 5.4 percent to C$17.77, adding to its gains on Monday when U.S. markets were closed.

RIM has been the target of a steady stream of takeover speculation in recent months as its market valuation has crawled along at multi-year lows amid product delays and profit warnings.

Samsung, which has emerged as the No. 1 smartphone manufacturer on the back of booming demand for its Android-based models, said on Tuesday it plans to merge its own "bada" operating system with an open-source platform supported by chipmaker Intel.

Android, the world's most popular smartphone operating system, is owned by Google and used by a slew of handset manufacturers, including Motorola Mobility and HTC, as well as Samsung.

RIM's stock has jumped more than 6 percent four times since December 21, when Reuters reported that Amazon.com and other possible buyers had considered a bid. It is still down almost 75 percent from a year ago.

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; editing by Rob Wilson)