RIM Shares Advance Most Since 2009 on Takeover Speculation

Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, advanced the most in 2 1/2 years on continuing speculation the company may be a takeover target.

RIM rose $2.60, or 12 percent, to $23.60 at 4 p.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market, the biggest one-day gain since April 2009.

RIM, down 59 percent this year amid market-share losses, has jumped by at least 8 percent on three days in the past week amid speculation it may get bought. Vodafone Group Plc (VOD) could be one of the “potential aggressors” amid “vague rumors” RIM asked an investment bank to look at strategic options, the U.K.’s Independent newspaper said yesterday.

“I don’t give much credence to that speculation just because it is a carrier,” said Jeff Fidacaro, an analyst at Susquehanna International Group in New York, who rates RIM “negative.”

Simon Gordon, a Vodafone spokesman, declined to comment. Marisa Conway, a spokeswoman for Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM, didn’t return a call seeking comment.

RIM’s planned move to the new QNX operating system next year means most bidders would likely wait to see how the company fares, Fidacaro said. RIM is counting on QNX devices to win back market share lost to Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iPhone and handset makers that use Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Android operating system.

“I find it hard to believe that an acquirer would bid for the company without being assured they can actually port that software successfully,” Fidacaro said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net

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