(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - N.America) Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSE:RIM) is considering eparating its handset manufacturing division from its messaging network, according to a report by the Sunday Times of London.
Last month, the BlackBerry maker hired both JP Morgan and RBC Capital to look at its strategic options. The options included RIM breaking off its handset division into a separate listed company, or selling it to potential buyers such as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).
Its messaging network could also be sold or opened up to competitors such as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) or Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) to generate income.
An alternative option is to maintain the business, but to sell a stake to a larger technology firm like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).
Sources close to RIM informed the Globe and Mail Sunday that reports of a division into two companies, with possible sales to Facebook and Amazon is a "silly fantasy".
RIM's spokesman, Nick Manning, stated Monday that the company is committed to maximizing shareholder value through continuing its turnaround strategy of launching new devices in upcoming months.
The Waterloo, Ontario-based company has been working to turn around operations after it has been losing smartphone market share to competitors of the likes of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android smartphone ecosystem.
The company held many takeover discussions in 2011, with potential buyers ranging from Microsoft, and Amazon to private equity firms.
However, in a recent research note, Northern Securities analyst Sameet Kanade said that chances were diminishing of a takeover bid for the company.
"We believe the opportunity to solicit a higher bid from a potential acquirer is slipping as every day passes," the analyst said.
"We estimate that the possibility of a bid (hostile or friendly) is less than 25 per cent despite the hiring of 2 investment banks since the list of 'white knights' is limited to North American companies."
On June 21, RIM announced that new Blackberry models will feature touch-screen keyboards rather than the physical keyboards. The details were released as RIM takes its BlackBerry 10 prototype to developers as part of the BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour to get developers to create apps for the new platform.
The company is hoping its new software will turn things around with new functionality and new apps.
RIM is also presently in the process of shedding roughly 2,000 jobs in a bid to save around 1 billion in operating costs by the end of its 2013 financial year.
RIM is expected to post its fiscal first quarter results Thursday. Northern Securities forecasted a first-quarter loss per share of 11 cents on total revenue of 2.8 billion.
Shares of RIM closed Friday at 10.12.