Report: Struggling RIM Explores Break-up Plans

By FOXBusiness

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) is reportedly exploring a breakup plan that would call for the embattled company to separate its phone manufacturing unit from its messaging network.

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According to London’s Sunday Times, RIM could decide to list the handset division as a separate public company or unload it to another technology company such as (NASDAQ:AMZN) or Facebook (NASDAQ:FB).

RIM could also sell or open up its messaging unit to rivals like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) or Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), the paper said.

The report comes as RIM finds itself in turmoil, having ousted former co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie as the Canadian company continues to lose market share to the iPhone and Android-powered devices.

New CEO Thorsten Heins has embarked on a massive cost-cutting endeavor aimed at slashing about $1 billion a year. Last month the smartphone maker said it hired J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and RBC Capital (NYSE:RY) to explore strategic options.

In addition to the breakup plans, Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM is considering keeping the company intact but selling a stake to a large technology company such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), the Times reported.

Despite the latest report, analysts at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) downgraded RIM to “underweight” from “equalweight” on Monday, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

Shares of RIM tumbled to fresh multiyear lows on Monday, recently trading down 3.65% to $9.49 and easily outpacing a 1.4% decline on the S&P 500. RIM’s shares have tumbled 34% so far this year and nearly 67% over the past 12 months.

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