Canadian Research In Motion Ltd (TSE:RIM), the maker of the BlackBerry smartphones, has been contacted by IBM (NYSE:IBM) with a preliminary proposal to potentially buy its enterprise-services unit, two informed sources were cited by Bloomberg on Friday as saying.
JPMorgan Chase & Co and RBC Capital Markets were engaged by RIM in May to explore strategic options, but CEO Thorsten Heins has said he would rather opt for finding a partner, or licensing RIM’s operating system than a sale.
So far, the company received no interest from any buyers for its entire business, or its segment making the phones, according to one of the sources. The person said the Canadian company could postpone a decision of selling itself until after the planned launch in 2013 of its BlackBerry 10 phones.
RIM is facing decreasing sales and losses due to competition from Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Android and Heins, who took the CEO position in January 2012, is seeking ways to turn the business around.
The firm is closing manufacturing plants and reducing nearly one third of its jobs in its efforts to recover, Bloomberg said.
According to data from IDC cited by the news agency, RIM saw its share of the global smartphone market decline to 4.8% in the second quarter of this year, from 12% the year before.
The news agency obtained no comment from RIM and IBM spokespersons regarding a potential deal.