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RIM may be in market for adviser

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Sales have come up short for five straight quarters at BlackBerry maker RIM.

NEW YORK - Research In Motion Ltd., the troubled maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, is in talks to hire a financial adviser to help it weigh strategic options, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

A decision to work with at least one bank could come in the next few days, said one person, who asked to remain anonymous because the deliberations are private. RIM would prefer an agreement to license its cellphone software, and its next choice is a strategic investment, one person said. RIM doesn’t plan to sell itself, the person said.

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RIM has said that it is weighing strategic changes after losing market to Apple Inc.’s iPhone and handsets that use Android software. Chief executive Thorsten Heins said that while the Waterloo, Ontario, company would consider a sale, that wasn’t “the main direction’’ he is pursuing.

A deal to license the BlackBerry operating system to a partner such as Samsung Electronics Co. would be the “best option,’’ said Matt Thornton, an analyst at Avian Securities LLC in Boston. Given RIM’s cash holdings, a strategic investment “doesn’t make a ton of sense,’’ he said. The company had $1.77 billion in cash and short-term investments as of early March.

A spokeswoman for RIM declined to comment.

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