Fairfax Financial Holdings’ $4.7 billion bid to take BlackBerry private could stall after it emerged that alternative proposals by Google, SAP and Cisco are being discussed, while Samsung, LG and Intel have also been invited to bid, Reuters reported this weekend.
While insiders said that no formal bids have been tabled, previous potential buyers have reportedly taken an interest in BlackBerry’s secure server network and patents, including that of its Querty keyboard.
Ailing BlackBerry has seen a five-year decline from its 2008 market capitalisation peak of over $80bn, since the smartphone industry it pioneered shifted from an enterprise to a consumer market.
In mid-August, valued at around $5bn, BlackBerry confirmed it was looking for buyers for all or part of its business. Since then, the company has engaged in aggressive cost-cutting, making plans to slash its workforce by 40% by the end of the year and exploring the offloading of properties in its hometown of Waterloo, Ontario.
When asked to comment about the talks a BlackBerry spokesman said only that the company’s special committee and legal advisors were “conducting a robust and thorough review of strategic alternatives”.
The full Reuters report can be read here.