Cerberus, Blackberry founders and Qualcomm consider joint Blackberry bid, as Fairfax struggles to fund bid
You can now add Cerberus and Qualcomm to the ever-expanding list of companies considering a buyout bid for fledgeling smartphone-maker BlackBerry.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Cerberus Capital Management along with two of Blackberry's co-founders are jointly pursuing a possible bid. Cerberus Capital Management is both a private equity firm based in New York City and a US Securities and Exchange Commission Registered Investment Advisor.
Cerberus is reportedly in discussions with Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, two of Blackberry's (previously known as Research in Motion) co-founders. Citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal clarified that Qualcomm - a California-based manufacturer of cellphone chips - is considering joining the Cerberus group bid.
Fairfax Financial, a holdings company based in Toronto, which owns a 10 per cent BlackBerry stake, has been at the forefront of the BlackBerry buyout. The company offered BlackBerry $4.7 billion in September, and it's currently in a six-week period of due diligence to make sure the acquisition is in order.
Bloomberg recently reported however that Fairfax has yet to arrange financing to take BlackBerry private. The company's advisers, Bank of America and Bank of Montreal, were reportedly turned away by other lenders in regard to helping finance the bid. Fairfax might therefore ask BlackBerry to extend next week’s deadline.
While Fairfax is running into a bit of trouble securing finances for its bid, Cerberus has reportedly already signed a non-disclosure agreement with BlackBerry to gain access to its financials.
BlackBerry introduced BlackBerry 10 earlier this year in an attempt to help its outlook, but we now know that it didn't work as planned. BlackBerry lost almost $1 billion in just 90 days, and it sold only 3.7 million BlackBerry smartphones (the majority were BlackBerry 7 handsets).
The company is now looking to sell itself as a whole or in parts, and it has even formed a committee to explore strategic options in the hope of a sale by November. Several companies have shown interest in BlackBerry, and Pocket-lint has even compiled a round-up of all the linked suitors.