Reports had claimed Samsung was in talks to acquire the beleaguered smartphone maker for $7.5bn
Samsung has been forced to deny claims it was set to buy Canadian smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry following earlier reports that such a deal was imminent.
The Korean company was reported to have prepared a $7.5bn bid, some way over BlackBerry’s current market value of around $5.5bn, however following an ‘exclusive report’ by Reuters, quickly denied any such bid.
“Media reports of the acquisition are groundless,” a company spokeswoman told the media agency.
BlackBerry also confirmed nothing was up, saying that it had, “not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry.”
BlackBerry shares dropped 15 percent on the NASDAQ following the denial, having earlier gone up by around 30 percent when the reports first emerged.
BlackBerry and Samsung do have a history of working together, most recently teaming up last November to improve the security and management of Android-based Galaxy smartphones and tablets by offering a product featuring the best of the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) and Samsung Knox platforms to their joint enterprise customers.
And following a period of sustained falling sales since the launch of its last flagship device, the Galaxy S5, last spring, Samsung has been looking at ways to re-establish itself into the ultra-competitive smartphone market.
With a new flagship – undoubtedly the Galaxy S6, on the horizon, the company has also targeted low-cost devices for first-time users in developing markets, but has made no play for the enterprise market as yet – an area where BlackBerry still has a strong presence.
This is not the first time a major technology company has been linked to buying BlackBerry – last October, it was reported that Lenovo had reignited its interest in acquiring the company, almost a year after the Chinese firm’s initial advances were thwarted by the Canadian government’s concerns that such a takeover would be a threat to national security.
Following a long period of decline, BlackBerry initially announced its intention to find a buyer in late 2013, but this was eventually scrapped in favour of a refinancing deal with shareholders.
The company has since looked to reinvent itself by focusing on key markets and product sectors, and has launched two new smartphone devices in recent months in an attempt to relaunch itself into the business market and return to profitability as soon as possible.
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