RIM eyes investment bankers: First step to a sale?

RIM eyes investment bankers: First step to a sale?

Summary: RIM may hire investment bankers to explore strategic options. Can it sell itself before the ship is steady?


Research in Motion is reportedly prepping to hire bankers to explore strategic alternatives.

According to Bloomberg, RIM is looking for an advisor to explore options, which typically include a sale or restructuring.

Analysts have been speculating on RIM's breakup value for months, but the hang-up is often the same. RIM needs to steady its smartphone lineup and demonstrate the staying power of its next-gen operating system before buyers become interested.

For instance, Northern Securities analyst Sameet Kanade recently said in a research note that no buyer will emerge until RIM steadies the ship. In the meantime, Kanade gave RIM a $7 price target and a sell rating. RIM is nearly double Kanade's target right now.

However, new CEO Thorsten Heins has said that he was open to options. Those options could involve partnering on consumer applications, licensing its enterprise software and intellectual property as well as a sale.

The news comes as RIM disclosed in a recent filing that its hardware unit may be losing money, according to a Jefferies analysis.


RIM 'considers' sale options: Should Apple buy BlackBerry?

Topics: Security, Mobility, BlackBerry

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  • The ONLY thing I see of value from RIM is patents.

    Still it might be worth a purchase and the bidding war could be intense. After all Apple might want those patents as well as MS and if google goes for em you can bet Apple and MS would bid as well just to keep them from google. Has a lot of potential for some fun on my part at least:)

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
  • Interesting...

    RIM's patents are of significant value, the hardware business is of little value and the software platform probably carries negative value right now.

    Their best bet may be to sell the patent portfolio with the hardware business, while attempting to license their services.

  • Zero sense

    RIM's a week away from their major conference where people from all over the world come to hear about the platform, new things etc. It would be ridiculous to have the event if they are looking to exit and sell.

    More likely a strategic partnership to share technology.
  • Browsing

    IMHO, if RIM had competitive browser capability, they would be okay in the current market. The future belongs to the Internet, and if they don't get wise to that fact there is no hope for them. As a business phone, the BB is tops. I love my Bold except for the lame browser.
    • I used to love my BB too

      The browser was my primary problem with it too. It's unbearably slow and it doesn't even render most pages properly. I wound up installing Opera on it which would render a page faster (even including waiting for the app to boot), but that's a battery hog on the BlackBerry.

      I honestly think RIM's future lies beyond hardware. I've said in the past that I wish Google would buy them and integrate BlackBerry's Messenger service as well as their great e-mail and security into the Android OS.

      I think RIM could even do well if they opened BBM to all mobile OSes and licensed out their tech to anyone willing to use it. It would be a killer app if anyone on Android, iOS, Winmo, BB, and whatever else is out there, were able to communicate across those lines on the same network.

      RIM can stay alive in the service business. They have a lot to offer if they'd just accept that their hardware designs have fallen behind. I just saw a BlackBerry commercial over the weekend where a woman states that she answers a thousand e-mails a day and couldn't do that with a touchscreen phone. With Swype I could do that easily, and I'm sure most people once they have some experience with the touchscreen interface could as well. Regardless of the OS.

      I actually feel bad for BlackBerry. They revolutionized the mobile industry in their time. Their leadership has simply ignored the fact that others have since revolutionized it again.
      • OS 7 Browser is capable

        The 9900 has similar hardware to most Android / iPhone 4 devices. The browser is right there functionality wise. Don't knock RIM if your using 2-3 year old Blackberry devices.
      • Sure, it was a 2+ year old phone...

        ...but for those two years it was a bad experience. In that same time period other browsers were faster and I watched others have better experiences. After the network outages I threw my hands in the air and gave up. It's not that I didn't like my BlackBerry but I just felt I could get more of what I wanted elsewhere. Besides, I still have my work-issued BB if I ever truly need BlackBerry-only features.

        After being on Android for the past 4 months I honestly don't miss my old phone except for the battery. I have unlimited texting which is an acceptable substitute for BBM, which no one I know is even on anymore. E-mail is nowhere near as good as BB but it's bearable. The overall speed increase makes up for any shortcomings.

        To be honest, I would like to see RIM stay in the game. I'd even go back if I felt they made a device I could love. I just don't believe their leadership understands the current market. That, or they won't accept how it has changed.
  • MS and/or Nokia, could bid for BB, and offer to "upgrade" the BB customers

    to a WP7 phones, and that would bring in an instant huge customer base to WP7 (eventually WP8). Asides from the "large" set of new customers to WP7, the patents that come with a purchase of BB, would be the number one reason for acquiring BB. Same could hold for Apple, if they decided to corral the BB customers along with the patents. Google could get into the bidding, but they still have a huge problem to deal with when it comes to their still pending acquisition of Motorola Mobility.