India-born billionaire Prem Watsa’s bid to acquire Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry has a new challenge: former Apple chief executive John Sculley, who famously sacked Steve Jobs, is exploring a joint bid with Canadian partners, the Globe and Mail has reported.
The Canadian newspaper said that Sculley declined to comment, but confessed that he has been a long-time BlackBerry fan and user.
Watsa, a former BlackBerry director who heads financial services company Fairfax, had last month made a $4.7-billion buyout proposal for the firm.
BlackBerry co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin are also considering a bid, a securities filing showed this month.
BlackBerry once domina­ted the smartphone market but put itself up for sale after being hit by Apple’s iPhone and devices using Google’s Android operating system.
“I think there’s a lot of future value in BlackBerry,” Sculley told the newspaper. “But without experienced people who have run this type of business, and without a strategic plan, it would be really challenging.”