You have to hand it to RIM, when they see something they want, they really go after it. Earlier this week, RIM doubled their offer to security technology company Certicom, offering C$131.1 million or about 43% more than VeriSign’s bid. VeriSign has until Feb. 11 to submit an amended offer under its arrangement with Certicom, but analysts believe they are unlikely to prevail.
A counter-bid from VeriSign is unlikely, said Blackmont Capital analyst Lawrence Rhee, because RIM’s richer offer shows its commitment to acquire Certicom.
“They could notch it up higher, but I just think VeriSign thinks that RIM will come and outbid it again. So why go through that process,” Rhee said. “I think they’re both motivated to try and purchase this asset, it’s just I think RIM has proven that they want it more.”
Things won’t end too badly for VeriSign, as the company will receive a C$4 million termination fee if Certicom does not accept its bid. Hmm, sounds like a pretty nice chunk of change to help Certicom get a higher valuation out of RIM. However, it seems that acquiring Certicom is worth it for RIM regardless the cost.
“I wouldn’t say it’s all Certicom’s technology that explains the strength of the security around RIM. I think it’s a key component. I think what RIM wants is to be able to ensure continued development of ECC going forward. If its gets into a competitor’s hands … then maybe RIM would be worried,” Rhee said.
Hopefully this sordid affair will be over by February 11th, and we can avoid having it come to a duel-to-the-death between Jim Balsillie and VeriSign’s CEO.