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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

BlackBerry bidders may want to carve up business

Reuters  New York, September 16, 2013
First Published: 00:21 IST(16/9/2013) | Last Updated: 00:24 IST(16/9/2013)

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 said.

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Private equity firms are mostly interested in businesses such as it’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, a source said.

BlackBerry’s biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings, 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% stake, and its chairman and CEO Prem Watsa, has left BlackBerry’s board already to avoid any possible conflict of interest.

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