Samsung has stated that the company plans to extend their existing partnership with BlackBerry. They, however, repeated that they have no intention to buy BlackBerry.
In an interview given to the Wall Street Journal, J.K. Shin who heads the mobile phone division at Samsung said that they are interested in working with BlackBerry and developing that partnership. He reiterated that they have no intention to acquire BlackBerry. In November 2014, the two companies had announced that they would collaborate to provide Android devices better end-to-end security through Samsung KNOX and BES 12. In the interview Shin said that they are happy with the potential of KNOX and want to remain committed to it.
Samsung may use some of BlackBerry’s technology to secure its smartphones, but details of the partnership have not been announced. According to Shin, buying BlackBerry may be counter-productive. Some reports had suggested that Samsung might be interested in the 44,000 patents held by BlackBerry. Shin refuted that saying that Samsung has more than 110,000 patents on its own.
Meanwhile rumors of Samsung wanting to buy BlackBerry are still alive. A new report published in the Financial Post says that Samsung is still very much interested in acquiring BlackBerry. The report goes to the extent of saying that Samsung was taken aback when Reuters wrote about Samsung’s plans to buy BlackBerry. Apparently Samsung wanted to keep it a secret because they thought that would help them obtain better prices. The Financial Post claims to have access to documents put together by investment bank Evercore Partners for Samsung. These documents outline the details for a possible takeover of BlackBerry.
Reuters were the first to publish reports that suggested that Samsung was trying to buy BlackBerry with a takeover bid worth 7.5 billion USD. That report didn’t name any sources, but it claimed that the 2 companies were working with their advisers. BlackBerry immediately shot down the report saying that they had not engaged in any discussions with Samsung. Samsung also denied the rumors.
But now sources familiar with the situation says that Samsung is still very interested in buying all or some of BlackBerry if the price is right. Samsung reportedly is still evaluating all options.
The document details the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches that Samsung might take in acquiring BlackBerry. One possibility is that Samsung may acquire a minority stake in the company. This will help them obtain regulatory approval from governments in the west which are nervous about foreign companies owning BlackBerry’s security features.
The report also outlines Samsung’s interest in getting BlackBerry CEO John Chen onboard. The document also hints at the possibility of bringing Prem Watsa, who is a major shareholder of BlackBerry, on board to strike the deal. Samsung reportedly plans to make an offer of USD 13.35 to USD 15.49 per share. That values the company between USD 7 billion and USD 8 billion.
The report also throws some light on Blackberry’s long term revenue potential. Samsung expects BlackBerry’s hardware revenue to stabilize and software revenue to triple between 2014 and 2017.