Mobile

BlackBerry may wind up selling off limbs before going private

The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone at the BB10 launch.

Above: The BlackBerry Q10 smartphone at the BB10 launch.

Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeat

Like all of your favorite boy-bands from the ’90s, BlackBerry might be breaking up instead of taking some time off.

The suffering smartphone maker recently accepted an offer to be taken private after a year of failed restructuring efforts. But now that the deal due diligence is underway, BlackBerry is reportedly afraid purchasing-company Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited won’t be able to raise the offered $4.7 billion, according to Bloomberg.

In September, Fairfax offered to scoop up flailing BlackBerry for the multibillion dollar purchase price. As part of the deal, Fairfax would pay BlackBerry $9 per share and gobble up all of the existing shares it doesn’t already own. Currently, the financial firm owns 10 percent of BlackBerry.

But BlackBerry seems to be spooked, according to Bloomberg, and is courting the idea of breaking up the company instead of taking it private. That is, it would sell off its patents, proprietary technology, and other parts to rivals and interested parties.

BlackBerry has reportedly even talked to Samsung, Cisco, and SAP about what elements of the company they might be interested in, according to Bloomberg. This could be a good strategy for BlackBerry as it might be able to negotiate prices on the individual technology and wind up getting a lot more for the sum of its parts than it would for the entire business.

The company recently announced almost $1 billion in losses and said it would let go of 4,500 employees. Its stock sits below the purchase price offering at $7.97 a share at the time of writing this post.

No matter what it does, it’s apparent that BlackBerry needs to do something — and quickly.

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