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Samsung Electronics Denies Report It May Buy Research In Motion

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 mobile device sits on display during the BlackBerry WES 2010 Conference in Orlando, Florida. Photographer: Matt Stroshane/Bloomberg

Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s No. 2 handset maker, said it isn’t interested in buying Research In Motion Ltd., denying a report that fueled an 8 percent surge in the BlackBerry maker’s shares.

Samsung has “never” considered buying the Canadian mobile-phone maker, and there has been no contact between the two companies, James Chung, a Seoul-based spokesman for Samsung, said by telephone. Samsung also isn’t interested in using RIM’s software through a licensing deal, he said.

RIM advanced to $17.47 at the close in New York trading yesterday after the BGR blog reported Samsung may be interested in buying the company and that no deal has been made because Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM is asking too much. The blog didn’t identify its sources. Shares in RIM dropped 75 percent last year as the company lost market share to Apple Inc. and Android-device makers including Samsung.

Tenille Kennedy, a spokeswoman for RIM, declined to comment on the report yesterday.

The slump in RIM’s share price prompted investment firm Jaguar Financial Corp. to call for RIM to split into separate companies, seek a buyer and shake up management.

The company’s share of U.S. mobile-phone subscribers in the three months through November dropped to 6.5 percent from 7.1 percent in the previous quarter, according to research firm ComScore Inc. Samsung, the biggest maker of Android devices, increased its share to 25.6 percent from 25.3 percent, and Apple gained 1.4 percentage points to 11.2 percent.

Acquisition Speculation

Samsung also makes phones based on Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Phone operating system and its own Bada software.

With 22 trillion won ($19 billion) in cash and equivalents as of Sept. 30, Samsung has been the subject of acquisition speculation. Samsung ruled out purchasing Hewlett-Packard Co.’s personal-computer business and WebOS software last year.

Samsung said this week it’s seeking to raise money through its first U.S. dollar-denominated bonds since 2004. The company, a supplier to Apple, plans to expand production capacity at a Texas factory making chips used in mobile devices.

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