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Samsung in discussions with BlackBerry to expand partnership

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - 16:39
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Samsung Electronics Co denied interest in acquiring BlackBerry Ltd, saying instead it was holding talks to use the Canadian smartphone maker's technology in Samsung devices.

[SEOUL] Samsung Electronics Co denied interest in acquiring BlackBerry Ltd, saying instead it was holding talks to use the Canadian smartphone maker's technology in Samsung devices.

The comments by Samsung co-Chief Executive Officer Shin Jong Kyun came five days after Reuters reported that the South Korean company proposed buying BlackBerry for as much as US$7.5 billion. Both companies denied the story, which cited documents and an unnamed person familiar with the matter.

"We want to work with BlackBerry and develop this partnership, not acquire the company," Mr Shin said on Tuesday in an e-mail.

"BlackBerry is one of our important business-to-business strategic partners."

Samsung's Knox system, which offers a suite of secure work applications, runs on BlackBerry's new server, known as the BES12. The partnership competes with an alliance between International Business Machines Corp and Apple Inc.

That cooperation was one piece of BlackBerry CEO John Chen's efforts to focus on business users and security as he aims to reach sustainable profit and revenue growth in the fiscal year that ends in 2016.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based company lost much of its market share in smartphones to Samsung, which ships about one of every four devices globally.

The Suwon-based Samsung is looking for revenue sources as its smartphone business faces pressure at the high end from Apple Inc's new iPhones and in the mid-range from Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi Corp.

Shares of Samsung rose 2.2 per cent to 1,372,000 won in Seoul. The stock fell 3.3 per cent last year after a 9.9 percent decline in 2013.

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