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Research in Motion Seeking a Buyout, Say Sources

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Last we left Research in Motion (RIMM), it was hanging by a fraying rope -- armed with only a $2,000 BlackBerry, a company worth less than Apple's (AAPL) App Store, and a slacking safety net held by a dwindling number of developers and employees. But even in its most desperate hours, RIM has refused any assistance and ultimately decided to stay the course. Its doomed, misguided course.

Until now.

According to its sources, BGR claims that RIM is seeking a sale of "one or more" of its divisions, possibly the entire company. The leading candidate, the site hears, is Samsung, which is coming out of a record-breaking year.

"[Co-CEO] Jim [Balsillie] is going hard after Samsung," one source said.

While some see RIM going the Android (GOOG) or Windows Phone (MSFT) route before an outright sale, BGR's Jonathan S. Geller sees BlackBerry Messenger being a perfect fit at Samsung and a solid way for it to "differentiate itself inside the Android ecosystem," earning it greater control separate from Google.

But before that could happen, according to Geller, RIM has to lower its asking price.

"We have heard the company is looking for more than $10 billion for a full sale," Geller writes, "likely somewhere in the $12 billion to $15 billion range, or between approximately $22.90 and $28.60 per share." The problem is that the company's market cap is roughly $8.5 billion -- and it's not exactly on an upswing. Analysts already think that few buyers would jump at an $8.5 billion asking price.

Still, this is hardly the first RIM buyout rumor. While we wait to hear further developments, shareholders can enjoy the nice midday spike in share price.

(See also: iPhone Can't Match Android's Versatility, Says Steve Wozniak and CES 2012: What Hit and What Missed)

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POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.