A new year means new telecom rumors. Samsung is apparently looking to buy BlackBerry, according to a report from Reuters, which cited an unnamed source. Executives from the two companies reportedly met last week, with Samsung proposing an initial range of $13.35 to $15.49 per share for an offer that could total as much as $7.5 billion. The proposed range represents a 38 percent to 60 percent premium over BlackBerry’s current trading price.
BlackBerry issued a statement denying that it had engaged in discussions with Samsung regarding an acquisition. A Samsung spokesperson also denied that there was any truth to the rumor. Such denials are expected, of course, and unlikely to totally quell speculation.
Given Samsung’s success as the world’s largest smartphone maker, it’s not immediately clear what BlackBerry would bring to the table. Though BlackBerry is no longer the powerhouse it once was, the company still has a base in the business and government markets. Reuters also reports that Samsung could benefit from access to BlackBerry’s extensive patent portfolio, comprised of about 44,000 patents.
The two companies recently partnered to combine the BlackBerry Enterprise Services 12 platform with Samsung’s security software for Galaxy smartphones, so there are already ties between the companies. A Samsung and BlackBerry combination isn’t entirely out of the question, but, for now, we’ll have to wait and see how this story develops.