Research In Motion has turned down takeover overtures from Amazon.com and other potential buyers because the BlackBerry maker prefers to fix its problems on its own, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Amazon hired an investment bank this summer to review a potential merger with RIM, but it did not make a formal offer, said one of the sources. It is not clear whether informal discussions between Amazon and RIM ever led to specific price talk.
The cheap dollar is helping to tease more investment out of a notoriously shy foreign investment pool – Japan’s insurance industry. In what would be the largest acquisition by a Japanese financial firm in the U.S., Tokio Marine said it plans to buy non-life insurer Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corp for about $4.7 billion. Tokio Marine is Japan’s largest non-life insurer, and has offered a 73 percent premium to Philadelphia Consolidated investors. Meanwhile, Nippon Life Insurance said it would take a 5 percent stake in U.S. fund and index group Russell Investments. Over the past year, the dollar is down more than 10 percent against the yen, though it is well off lows hit in early March. Japanese insurers, which earn 80 percent of their profit at home, have long been under pressure to diversify abroad to deal with an aging population and slow growth at home.