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.”