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Longbow Research Analyst: Samsung-Seagate Buyout Rumor Is 'Highly Improbable'

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Over the past couple of weeks, a few rumors regarding Samsung Electronics Co’s (OTCMKTS: SSNLF) M&A activity have surfaced.

On January 14, Reuters reported the company was offering $13.35-$15.49 per share for BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ: BBRY). 

On late January 21, Canada's Financial Post reported that, according to Evercore Partners, Samsung is still interested in pursuing a deal for BlackBerry.

On Thursday morning, another rumor -- that Samsung is interested in buying Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) at a $72 per share tender offer -- began to circulate.

Benzinga asked Longbow Research Analyst Joe Wittine to share his thoughts on the rumor.

"As you may know," he said, "these companies are strategically aligned."

"They cooperate on R&D and Seagate actually still sells Samsung-branded HDDs, however, your newest rumor is difficult to believe, for a [few] reasons."

1. "Before entertaining the merits, understand $72 is very low. STX was near that a month ago. Steve and the Board wouldn’t even read the offer, particularly with Seagate’s systems business set to scale."

2. "Samsung owned 45M shares of Seagate following the sale of its HDD business to Seagate, and just over a year ago sold 30M share back to Samsung. Repeat: Samsung just unloaded their shares in 9 percent of STX."

3. "From an antitrust perspective the Chinese regulators still haven’t fully approved Seagate’s 2011 acquisition of Samsung’s HDD business. It remains in limbo. Your rumor would be creating an even bigger mothership with a more concentrated market exposure."

"Bottom line," Wittine said, the rumor is "highly improbable."

Javier Hasse contributed to this report.

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Posted-In: Evercore Partners Joe WittineAnalyst Color Rumors Exclusives Analyst Ratings Movers Tech


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