Research In Motion has hired law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP to work out a restructuring plan that could include selling assets, seeking joint ventures or licensing patents, sources said.
As part of RIM’s strategic review, the RIM board is discussing ways to boost revenue from its new BB10 operating system and possibly opening up its proprietary network, the sources said.
Sources say this is a very mature strategy and RIM was very far down the road with a lot of those discussions with carriers.
These restructuring efforts come as RIM tries to stem customer losses to Apple Inc’s iPhone and smartphones running Google Inc’s Android software.
Representatives from Milbank and RIM declined to comment.
A number of investment banks have approached RIM over the past several months, vying for a role as financial adviser. But for now, RIM is not expected to hire a banker unless it decides to sell off a major asset or if the company receives takeover interest from an industry competitor, the sources said.
RIM has worked with Milbank previously and also retains law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and the consulting firm Monitor Group for strategic advice. The two firms were not immediately available for comment.
Since late 2010, RIM had been taking steps to make its network services available to other devices, and made a string of acquisitions to support that strategy, according to several sources with knowledge of the matter.
Last October, RIM bought Dublin-based digital content company Newbay Software, which stores photo and video albums, music, address books, calendars on its own servers and can deliver it to any Internet-connected device, including mobile phones, personal computers, tablets and televisions.
When RIM bought it, Newbay boasted more than 80 million subscribers and had relationships with many of the carriers that Balsillie was negotiating with.
Earlier in 2011, RIM bought small Swedish video-editing company Jaycut, German social gaming company Scoreloop in June, and Waterloo-based tinyHippos, which owned a cross-platform app testing tool.