Samsung denies interest in acquiring BlackBerry

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Samsung denies interest in acquiring BlackBerry

Samsung Electronics denied interest in acquiring BlackBerry, 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 $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,” Shin said today 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 Corporation 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 Corporation.

Meanwhile, foreign acquisitions of Canadian companies for more than 344 million Canadian dollars ($287 million) must be vetted by the government. Since 2009, they can also face a national security review, largely by a secret committee of senior officials that includes the heads of two spy agencies.

In October 2013, the government rejected Manitoba Telecom Services’s sale of its Allstream unit to an investment firm co-founded by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, citing security concerns. The government didn’t provide details on what those concerns were.

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