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IBM has 'informal' interest in RIM's enterprise business: report

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International Business Machines Corp has considered buying Research In Motion's enterprise division, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing two unnamed sources.

IBM made an informal approach for the enterprise business that operates the servers used for supporting BlackBerry e-mail and messaging services, one of the sources said, according to Bloomberg. The report said no talks were currently underway.

Under the leadership of new chief executive, Thorsten Heins, RIM has hired bankers for a strategic review that could include a potential sale and partnerships for its technology.

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The Bloomberg report said the BlackBerry maker has not yet received any offers for its phone business or for the whole company.

RIM virtually invented mobile e-mail with its first BlackBerry devices more than a decade ago, but its market share has evaporated as consumers have flocked to Apple Inc.'s iPhone and devices based on Google Inc.'s Android system. RIM has lost over 70 per cent in market capitalization in the last year alone.

RIM officials declined to comment to Reuters while IBM officials were not immediately available.

RIM's U.S.-traded shares rose 8.7 per cent premarket after the Bloomberg report.

On Thursday, South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. said it has not considered acquiring RIM or licensing the embattled BlackBerry phone maker's new mobile operating system, despite an earlier report from an influential analyst floating the idea.

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