RIM extends deadline of Certicom takeover offer

Research in Motion Inc. announced this week it has extended by 12 days its offer to buy Certicom Corp.

Last month, Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM, maker of the BlackBerry line of wireless e-mail devices and smart phones, announced a hostile takeover offer of Certicom, a Mississauga, Ont.-based security vendor.

The offer now expires Jan. 27.

Certicom uses public key infrastructure and elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) in its products, which target electronic manufacturers and government agencies.

The two companies started discussing a possible merger nearly two years, ago, but RIM decided a month ago to approach Certicom shareholders directly, offering $1.50 per share. Should the acquisition go through, it would cost RIM $66 million.

Certicom shares were trading at $1.90 Friday on the TSX.

When RIM publically announced its intent to acquire Certicom, Certicom said it was considering offers from other companies and formed a committee of directors to both evaluate RIM’s proposal and consider other potential buyers. That committee then told Certicom shareholders to take no action yet and reportedly started preparing to ask an Ontario court for an injunction preventing RIM from acquiring Certicom shares.

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