Samsung launches BlackBerry takeover bid

<p>Samsung has offered up to $7.5 billion to purchase BlackBerry.</p>

Shares in smartphone company BlackBerry soared by almost 30 per cent on Wednesday (January 14th) following news of a potential takeover from Samsung.

The Korean firm has moved to purchase its struggling rival and is ready to pay as much as $7.5 billion (£4.92 billion). News of this movement triggered huge investor interest in BlackBerry and saw shares spike by 29.71 per cent at the close of trading on the US stock market. Reuters reported that executives from Samsung and BlackBerry have already met to discuss a possible deal.

BlackBerry has been struggling to keep up with competitors such as Apple and Samsung in the smartphone sector. While its handsets were once highly popular across the globe, the rise of the iPhone and Galaxy series has seen their circulation diminish leading to financial problems for the company.

In December, BlackBerry announced a larger-than-expected fall in revenue during the third quarter of the year. The company reported revenues of $793 million, a significant drop from the $1.19 billion recorded earlier in the year. While chief executive John Chen described the results as "not satisfying" he was hopeful that the company company will be able to stabilise in 2016.

The potential deal with Samsung could represent a major coup for BlackBerry's shareholders. The company said in an email that it was "aware of certain press reports" about a potential agreement but, contrary to Reuters report, it had "not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase".

BlackBerry once boasted a 50 per cent share of the smartphone market in the US but this has since fallen due to the rise and popularity of both Apple and Samsung models. There has also been a shift towards touchscreen devices as opposed to the keypad option, which made the BlackBerry handsets unique.

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