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RIM's Takeover Bid For Certicom Takes A Hostile Turn

Research In Motion is vowing to fight Certicom's efforts to block being acquired by the BlackBerry maker.
Research In Motion's bid to acquire Ontario neighbor Certicom has become downright hostile as the encryption specialist has urged its stockholders to resist the bid and has petitioned the Ontario Superior Court to block RIM's takeover proposition.

RIM, however, has vowed to fight Certicom's efforts to block the takeover, valued at $52 million. RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie noted that the two companies have been talking about an acquisition for nearly two years.

Certicom maintains that RIM's bid is undervalued for a number of reasons, including that Certicom's tax assets alone are worth $1.07 per share -- well over half of RIM's $1.50-per-share offer.

"RIM's hostile bid undervalues both Certicom's valuable and unique industry-leading data encryption technology and the recent progress the company has made in implementing its strategic plan," Certicom said in a statement accompanying a letter to its stockholders Monday.

"RIM is attempting to acquire almost $2.00 in cash and potential tax benefits for $1.50, and would not be paying fair value for the valuable assets and operations of your company," the Certicom letter said.

Certicom also charged that RIM's bid contravenes nondisclosure agreements RIM has signed.

Meanwhile, another hostile bid involving a Canadian company -- Zi Corp. -- continues to languish as Zi's board of directors rejected a takeover offer from U.S.-based Nuance Communications. Nuance, a speech and imaging technology provider, which has also sued Zi over patents, has continued its hostile bid. In a letter to its shareholders this month, Zi said its reviews of the situation have led it to believe that the Nuance bids are undervalued.