BlackBerry denies takeover talks
BlackBerry has denied having talks with technology giant Samsung over a possible takeover of the Canadian company.
"BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry," the company said in a statement.
A Reuters report, citing an un-named source, said executives met last week to discuss a potential deal. South Korea-based Samsung reportedly offered to buy BlackBerry for 13.35 dollars (£8.78) to 15.49 (£10.19) per share, valuing the company at as much as 7.5 billion dollars (£4.9bn).
BlackBerry shares slid 16% after the company's statement. The stock had jumped nearly 30%, or 2.89 dollars (£1.90) yesterday to close at 12.60 (£8.28).
Samsung declined to comment.
Any foreign takeover would also require approval from the Canadian government. Asked if it had been approached about the deal, Jessica Fletcher, a spokeswoman for industry minister James Moore, said: "We don't comment on rumours and speculation."
BlackBerry has not been able to compete with Apple's iPhone or Android smartphones made by Samsung and other companies. It now holds a small fraction of the US smartphone market after having had nearly half the market in 2009.
The company has been expanding its efforts to sell mobile-security software on its rivals' smartphones and tablets to help counter the waning popularity of its own devices.
It unveiled its latest phone, the Classic, in December. Aimed at the business user, the Classic has a traditional keyboard, unlike the touchscreens that are on the most popular smartphones. But whether BlackBerry will sell enough of them to stay relevant in the hardware business is unclear.