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Reports: IBM considering acquisition of RIM enterprise services?

According to people familiar with the matter, IBM has approached RIM on an informal basis, although no talks are currently under way

Research in Motion's (RIM) enterprise-services unit has been approached by IBM to discuss the possibility of an acquisition, according to reports.

Bloomberg said yesterday, citing two people familiar with the situation, that IBM has informally approached RIM to discuss the matter, as it is interested in buying RIM's network of secure servers used to support its Blackberry devices.

IBM has not shown interest in buying other aspects of RIM's business, such as its handset-making division, but RIM is said to be waiting for the rollout of its anticipated Blackberry 10 phones next year before making any decisions on a sale.

According to the sources, no talks are currently under way.

RIM recently reported sharply lower revenue and a loss for the March-to-May quarter. Revenue was $2.8 billion (£1.85 billion), down from $4.9 billion (£3.1 billion) a year earlier. The company reported a net loss of $518 million (£331 million) against a profit of $695 million (£444 million) a year earlier.

Once a giant in the smartphone market, in recent years RIM has lost out on market share to Apple's iOS and Google's Android. RIM CEO, Thorsten Heins, who took charge in January, has hired JPMorgan Chase and RBC Capital Markets in a bid to reassess strategic options. He has said that he would prefer to find a partner or license RIM's operating system rather than pursue a sale.

The company also revealed in its latest results that it would eliminate approximately 5,000 jobs as part of an ongoing restructure. The job losses, which represent 30 percent of RIM's 16,500 workers, will take place over the next seven months.

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