Smelling blood, IBM may aim to buy RIM’s enterprise services unit

RIM is wounded, and predators are starting to pick up the scent.

RIM has attracted the attention of IBM, which may be interested in buying its Enterprise Services unit, a pair of sources told Bloomberg.

Enterprise Services is RIM’s bread and butter. It’s the link between BlackBerry devices and the software that manages them, and the unit generated at least $4.1 billion in revenue last year. It would take a pretty compelling offer from IBM for RIM to part with the unit, which is why the sale seems so unlikely.

(And if you doubt the importance of that $4.1 billion, consider that it’s almost the exact value of RIM’s recent market cap estimates.)

RIM isn’t saying much about the report. “We don’t comment on rumors and speculation,”  Nick Manning, a company spokesman, told VentureBeat this morning. IBM also gave a “no comment” on the rumors.

While there’s very little to go on in the report, we do know that RIM CEO Thorstein Heins is extremely unlikely to go for a deal like this — at least at this point. Right now RIM is more interested in seeing how well its BlackBerry 10 devices do next year, so don’t expect any high-profile sale any time soon.

Photo: Shutterstock/Joanne Weston