Samsung is not buying BlackBerry — at least for now.
Industry Minister James Moore told media today that BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen called him to reassure the government that there is no pending acquisition, a deal the government and its various security components would have to approve.
While Samsung and BlackBerry have a close working relationship, partnering on security-related matters like bringing KNOX to BES 12, an outright purchase of the Waterloo-based company remains unlikely. Instead, it’s possible BlackBerry may sell individual divisions piecemeal to a company like Samsung should a balance sheet turnaround not happen, or happen too slowly.
Samsung would stand to benefit from BlackBerry’s partnerships with worldwide governments and carriers, as well as the backend security infrastructure that powers many of the world’s biggest companies and agencies. But the Harper government has chosen in the past not to approve security-sensitive deals like this — without explicitly stating the reasons — such as 2013’s sale of Allstream to former WIND owner, Naguib Sawiris. Lenovo was also rumoured to be looking into purchasing BlackBerry at some point, but its advances were reportedly shot down by Industry Canada before becoming public.
But just because an outright purchase is not in the cards doesn’t mean Samsung won’t continue to test the proverbial waters around Waterloo. The company has shifted much of its design work to Silicon Valley, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Korean giant work with BlackBerry on growing its enterprise business, building a relationship similar to that of Apple and IBM.
Source: Bloomberg / Financial Post