Update: BlackBerry has responded with an official denial of takeover talks, while somewhat paradoxically also claiming it doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation. Full statement below:
BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB) (“BlackBerry”) is aware of certain press reports published today with respect to a possible offer by Samsung to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry. BlackBerry’s policy is not to comment on rumors or speculation, and accordingly it does not intend to comment further.
Samsung has approached BlackBerry with potential takeover offers, according to a report from Reuters today. The Korean company offered as much as $7.5 billion for the Canadian company, with an interest specifically in the smaller company’s patent portfolio.
The offer by Samsung ranges between $13.35 and $15.49 per share, which would represent between 38 and 60 percent of the company’s value as trading at the time the news broke. The conversation is apparently ongoing, per Reuters, with a meeting occurring last week between company executives and advisers to the possible deal.
Samsung’s interest would appear to be primarily in IP, which might douse the hopes of those looking for the Korean company to also offer up keyboard-sporting smartphones aimed at the enterprise. Samsung has expressed a clear interest in the enterprise market in the past, however, introducing its KNOX secure data service for Android, and then working with Google to incorporate some of its features directly into Android 5.0.
A bid for BlackBerry would also presumably provide Samsung with the company’s promising enterprise services division, which includes the BES multiplatform MDM solution, BlackBerry Messenger (which is increasingly enterprise-focused) and more. IP might be the primary motivator, as mentioned, but Samsung can’t possibly be ignoring the value of giving itself a shortcut to greater enterprise presence.
The hardware division may be the most at risk if a BlackBerry takeover by Samsung goes through, but Samsung also has more freedom to continue to experiment in that realm, too, should it see any upside in doing so. It’s not the first time BlackBerry has said to be entertaining suitors including Samsung, but it sounds like talks could be more advanced than they have been in the past.