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Report: IBM Interest In Blackberry Maker’s Enterprise Unit

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) has informally approached Research in Motion, maker of the Blackberry phone, about potentially acquiring RIM’s enterprise services unit, according to a Bloomberg report.

Citing Berenberg Bank, the article says that business may be worth between $1.5 billion and $2.5 billion depending on which assets are included.

As of 10:12 a.m. Friday, RIM’s stock jumped 4.5 percent to $8.15 per share.

Bloomberg reports the enterprise services unit operates a network of servers that support Blackberry units and RIM CEO Thorsten Heins is interested in either finding a partner or licensing the system to other firms.

If a transaction occurred, IBM would reportedly control an e-mail system several large corporations prefer over consumer-oriented products.

Subscription fees generated $4.1 billion last year for RIM, according to the report.

According to the story, no company has shown interest in buying all of RIM or the division that makes the Blackberry units.

The company, based nearly 70 miles west of Toronto, is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and RBC Capital Markets to study strategic options as it attempts to regain share in the smartphone market lost to Apple and Google.

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