RIM taps law firm to help with restructuring

Research In Motion is exploring options that include opening up its proprietary secure network and finding ways to boost revenue from BlackBerry 10.

Research In Motion could be in for some major shakeups.

Research in Motion

The embattled smartphone company has hired law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP to help it come up with a restructuring plan, according to a Reuters report over the weekend. The report, citing anonymous sources, said RIM is looking for ways to boost the revenue from its BlackBerry 10 operating system, as well considering opening up its proprietary secure network.

RIM has previously done work with Milbank, Reuters reported.

With market share bleeding and growth all but gone, RIM needs some radical changes to even have a chance at mounting a comeback. CEO Thorsten Heins has said he is considering all options, which include selling assets, forming partnerships, or licensing its patents. Heins even said he was open to a sale of the company, but stressed that it wasn't the preferred option.

Many of the moves could help RIM boost its revenue and profits for the short term, but there's no guarantee that its planned lineup of BlackBerry 10 smartphones will be able to compete against Google's Android and Apple's iPhone. The new BlackBerrys are expected to come around the same time as the purported next iPhone.

A representative for RIM declined to comment on the report to CNET.

RIM hoped to add as much as $4 billion in revenue from deals with major carriers, Reuters reported, which added that the company was in discussions with telecommunications companies already.

RIM isn't expected to hire an investment banker unless it decides to sell off a major piece of the company or gets a takeover offer from a competitor, Reuters reported. That's despite several banks vying for its attention.

The report details a plan in which RIM had considered opening up its services, including its popular BlackBerry Messenger service, to other smartphones and devices. The plan was held up on concerns that by opening up its key services, the company would see an acceleration of market share losses.

It's unclear whether the abandoned plan would make its way into Milbank's restructuring plan, Reuters said.
About the author

Roger Cheng is the executive editor in charge of breaking news for CNET News. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade. He's a devoted Trojan alum and Los Angeles Lakers fan.

 

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