VeriSign buys Certicom to trump RIM

VeriSign said Friday it won a tug of war with Research in Motion over Certicom, a small company with public key encryption technology.In a statement, VeriSign said it would buy Certicom for the equivalent of $1.

VeriSign said Friday it won a tug of war with Research in Motion over Certicom, a small company with public key encryption technology.

In a statement, VeriSign said it would buy Certicom for the equivalent of $1.67 a share, a 26 percent premium to where Certicom traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The total deal was worth $73 million. VeriSign's bid is a 40 percent premium to the unsolicited takeover offer RIM had.

On Tuesday, RIM walked away from its offer to buy Certicom after an Ontario court granted the company a permanent injunction.

On Monday Certicom said:

The injunction was granted by the Court following application by Certicom on the basis that RIM and its subsidiary had breached non-disclosure agreements entered into by Certicom and RIM in 2007 and 2008 by using confidential and proprietary information supplied by Certicom to RIM for its bid. Certicom had provided this information to RIM for its use in the course of discussions respecting a possible friendly acquisition of Certicom by RIM. As part of its ruling, the Court found that RIM and its subsidiary had breached the non-disclosure agreements.

Why the hubbub over Certicom?

Certicom has Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) technology, a form of public-key encryption. VeriSign plans to put ECC technology next to its core digital certificate business.

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