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BlackBerry denies Samsung takeover report

Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry’s shares jumped before falling back Wednesday following a report, which the firm promptly denied, that it was in takeover talks with South Korea’s Samsung.

BlackBerry’s share price gained US$2.89 in the last hour of trading, closing on the Nasdaq up almost 30 percent at US$12.60 before falling back sharply to $10.53 in after hours trading.

The Waterloo, Ontario-based firm said it is “aware of certain press reports published today with respect to a possible offer by Samsung to purchase BlackBerry.”

“BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry,” it said.

A report out of New York had earlier said Samsung had approached BlackBerry with an offer last week. Samsung representatives could not be reached immediately for comment.

Analysts meanwhile continue to be bearish on BlackBerry, setting targets of US$7 to US$10 for its stock.

They expect the company to again post significant losses this year despite gradually improving sales expected from new product launches.

Tech analyst Carl Simard of Medici told AFP he was puzzled by Samsung’s purported interest in its Canadian rival, saying BlackBerry’s main feature — its security encryption — would add little value to Samsung’s consumer-oriented smartphones.

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