Hungry for Patents, Samsung Approaches BlackBerry About a Buyout
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd recently approached BlackBerry Ltd about buying the company for as much as $7.5 billion, looking to gain access to its patent portfolio, according to a person familiar with the matter and documents seen by Reuters.
South Korea's Samsung proposed an initial price range of $13.35 to $15.49 per share, which represents a premium of 38 percent to 60 percent over BlackBerry's current trading price, the source said.
Executives from the two companies, which are working with advisers, met last week to discuss a potential transaction, the source said, asking not to be identified because the conversations are private.
Shares of Blackberry jumped as much as 30 percent on heavy volume in afternoon trading in New York.
The offer price would imply an enterprise value of $6 billion to $7.5 billion for BlackBerry, assuming conversion of $1.25 billion of convertible debt, according to the documents.
BlackBerry announced a high-profile security partnership with Samsung in November. The partnership will wed BlackBerry's security platform with the South Korean company's own security software for its Galaxy devices.
Representatives for BlackBerry declined to comment while Samsung could not be immediately reached for comment.
(Reporting by Jennifer Ablan and Liana Baker in New York, Editing by Soyoung Kim and Christian Plumb)