Analysts: Microsoft might buy out RIM

Could corporate types one day exchange e-mails using Microsoft Blackberry smart phones? According to Reuters, that’s likelier than you might think. Pointing to the declining stock price of Blackberry maker RIM, the news agency says Microsoft could make a takeover bid in the not-so-distant future.

RIM shares have dipped from $148 four months ago to around $60. An analyst for Canaccord Adams believes Microsoft will bid $50 a share for the cell-phone maker, adding that the deal would represent a “massive strategic fit.” Of course, RIM’s shares would have to hit $40 or less for such an offer to seem like a “premium bid,” but that’s not outside the realm of possibility.

At 50 bucks a share, Reuters works out that RIM would be worth around $28 billion. Microsoft reportedly had $23.6 billion in the bank as of June 30, so it could buy RIM for a mix of stock and cash without having to tap the precarious credit markets. Having both the Blackberry and Windows Mobile in its portfolio would help Microsoft compete more effectively against not just the iPhone, but also the incoming wave of Google Android handsets.

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