Samsung is actively pursuing buying BlackBerry despite both companies denying any interest, claims a new report in the Financial Post. Rumors of a possible takeover started on January 14th after Reuters reported that the two companies were in talks, but the news was quickly refuted by both Samsung and BlackBerry. According to an anonymous source quoted by the Financial Post, however, Samsung hasn't walked away from an acquisition at all: "They're leaning towards it."
The Post's source states that BlackBerry "is still being pursued right now. Samsung is still evaluating their options. So it’s still very much an open deal." The Canadian paper also cites a document prepared for Samsung by New York investment bank Evercore Partners in late 2014, which reportedly outlines the case for an acquisition as well as suggesting the possible structure for such a purchase.The Post has a long history of reporting on BlackBerry with proven inside source — such as the replacement of the company's co-chairmen in 2012.
Samsung "wanted to send a message to Apple and Microsoft [and] Nokia," says the source
The Post's source states that BlackBerry was caught off-guard by the leaked Reuters report, and had been hoping to move quickly on the Canadian company with an attractive enough price that would avoid the need for a long negotiating process. Statements earlier this week from Samsung "developing its partnership" with Blackberry was just "setting up" the acquisition, claims the source, adding that the South Korean phone manufacturer "wanted to send a message to Apple and Microsoft [and] Nokia," while also offering BlackBerry a price they "won’t feel embarrassed by."
The financial advice prepared for Samsung by Evercore suggested an offer of $13.35 to $15.49 per share, for a valuation of between $7 billion and $8 billion. (BlackBerry's shares closed at $9.93 on Wednesday.) The document also outlines the appeal of BlackBerry's enterprise software for Samsung (something The Verge has noted in the past), and suggests that the Canadian company's hardware revenue will stabilize and its software revenue will triple from $235 million in 2014 to $636 million in 2017. BlackBerry will have roughly the same figures in front of them of course, and given the boost in the stock market that the takeover rumors triggered, they may now be simply wondering how to best play the hand they've been dealt.