Palm, Handspring deny merger talks

Palm, Handspring deny merger talks

Handheld device makers Palm and Handspring both strongly denied on Tuesday that they are in merger talks, the day after rumours to the contrary pushed up the stock prices for both companies.

"It's not true. It's a rumour and we don't comment on rumours," said Lorraine Legros, a Palm spokeswoman in the company's Paris office.

"We aren't in talks to acquire Palm or to be acquired by Palm," said a Handspring spokesperson in the UK who asked not to be named.

Talk of a merger between the PDA (personal digital assistant) makers began on Monday after a report in the Wall Street Journal newspaper, quoting "people familiar with the situation", said that merger talks were held between Palm and Handspring last year in a "war room" scenario. Though those particular merger talks were dropped -- with both companies currently in the middle of restructuring plans and new products in development -- the possibility of a merger cannot be dismissed, the WSJ said.

The report also quoted various Wall Street money managers and analysts as hoping that the resignation of Palm's chief executive officer, Carl Yankowski, at the beginning of the month could possibly pave the way for the company to merge with its rival.

By the end of Monday on the Nasdaq stock exchange, Palm was up $US0.44, or 13 per cent, to close at $3.87 per share, while Handspring was up $1.41, or 35 per cent, to close at $5.41 per share.

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