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RIM ponders hardware sale

| Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Research In Motion Ltd. jumped to to its highest level since late 2011 after its chief executive officer said the BlackBerry maker is considering strategic options, including a sale of its hardware production unit.

Possibilities include “the sale of hardware production as well as licensing of our software,” CEO Thorsten Heins was reported as saying in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt. Nick Manning, a spokesman for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, said those options are examples that Heins cited among the possibilities under consideration in a strategic review.

The company hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. and RBC Capital Markets in May to help it evaluate options. While Heins hasn't ruled out a sale of the company, he has said RIM's focus is on exploring strategic partnerships or software licensing deals. On Jan. 30, RIM will debut the BlackBerry 10 devices, which the company is counting on to reverse a sales slide and help it win back market share lost to Apple Inc.'s iPhone and handsets that run Google Inc.'s Android software.

RIM closed up 15 percent to $18.23 in Toronto after climbing as high as $18.60 earlier in the day, the highest since Dec. 1, 2011.

The stock has more than doubled since September on growing optimism for BlackBerry 10's prospects. RIM didn't trade on Monday in New York because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The strategic review continues “but there is no reason for us to rush to decide,” Heins was quoted as saying by Die Welt. “First and foremost, it's important to bring BlackBerry 10 successfully to market.”

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