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The latest RIM rumour: IBM is interested Add to ...

Just as one takeover rumour for Research In Motion Ltd. subsides, another takes off. On Friday, RIM shares rose more than 5 per cent in early trading on a report from Bloomberg News that International Business Machines Corp. has been sniffing around the BlackBerry maker’s network operations.

The report follows by one day Samsung Electronics Co.’s denial that it has been considering acquiring RIM – and of course that rumour was merely the latest in a steady stream of speculation over the past year that RIM’s only role now is as a takeover target.

At least the IBM report appears to have some legs. Barron’s Tech Trader Daily reported that an analyst at William Blair believes that such a deal would be logical “given IBM’s deep pockets, interest in wireless patents, and presence in the enterprise,” said analyst Anil Doradia, in a note. He added that “an acquisition of RIM assets would be a logical extension to IBM’s enterprise offering.”

Still, there isn’t much excitement over what RIM would be worth. Mr. Doradia estimates that RIM is worth between $2-billion (U.S.) and $4-billion for the company’s patents, and another $1-billion to $2-billion for its network operations.

No wonder investors aren’t expressing much interest, with the shares down 45 per cent this year despite some recent signs of life.

Follow on Twitter: @dberman_ROB


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