NEW YORK (Reuters) - A handful of potential bidders, including private equity firms, are lining up to look at BlackBerry Ltd, but initial indications suggest that interest is tepid and buyers are eyeing parts of the Canadian smartphone maker rather than the whole company, several sources familiar with the situation said.
Private equity firms are mostly interested in businesses such as BlackBerry's operating system and the patents around its keyboard, two of the sources said. However, one possibility is for a Canadian pension fund to team up with an investor to buy the whole company, which is currently worth a little more than $5 billion, one of the sources said.
BlackBerry's biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, has approached several large Canadian investment funds about forging a deal to take the smartphone maker private, Reuters reported last week.
Fairfax has a 10 percent stake, and its chairman and chief executive, Prem Watsa, has left BlackBerry's board already to avoid any possible conflict of interest as the company assesses its strategic options.
The 'net benefit' test a BlackBerry takeover must pass (Yahoo! Canada Finance - Insight (blog))
BlackBerry might be broken up into two parts: OS and patents (MobileSyrup.com)
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