With Canadian activist Victor Alboini already buying into BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) and rumors that Carl Icahn may join him, a top analyst suggests there's little interest in another company taking it over.
RIM shares gained more than 14 percent Wednesday following disappointment with Apple's iPhone 4S announcement. They traded at midday around $24.07. Apple shares fell a fraction to $371.54.
Looking at the smartphone sector, Bernstein's Pierre Ferragu wondered if RIM might tempt Microsoft, Samsung Electronics, Taiwan's HTC or Google -- and determined it probably won't.
Aside from Microsoft, which might seek a global platform for its Windows phones tablets, Samsung is doing well enough independently and HTC lacks the financial muscle, Ferragu advised clients.
Microsoft could consider buying the Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry maker just to gain market share. RIM's market capitalization is about $12.6 billion, which the software maker could afford.
Meanwhile, Google, which plans to acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.6 billion, has already made its play into the smartphone sector. Google also plans to obtain Motorola Mobility's 17,000 patents covering wireless technology.
Rather than a corporate takeover, the Bernstein analyst also suggests activists like Alboini or Icahn, probably won't mount a serious bid because co-CEOs Michael Lazarides and James Balsillie combined control 20 percent of the shares.
Still, Ferragu wrote, RIM has some attractions stemming from its heritage as an enterprise e-mail and communications platform. Basically, the cash flow around $160 per current BlackBerry user is sufficient to pay back any takeover premium a buyer would pay.
Alboini, whose Toronto-based Jaguar Financial has acquired a stake below 5 percent in RIM, told IBTimes he is corralling other activist investors and wants to mount a bid by mid-October.
A BlackBerry user himself, Alboini said its customer base and products justify the company's continued existence but that it needs new leadership to perform better.