When BlackBerry announced its “exploration of strategic alternatives” in mid-August, it said that it was open to a variety of options including joint ventures, strategic partnerships, an outright sale and “other possible transactions.” As widely expected, it now appears that BlackBerry’s preferred option is a quick sale. Citing anonymous sources, The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is hoping to run a “fast auction process” that could yield a buyer by November.
The report adds that BlackBerry has already narrowed “its list of potential bidders” and that the auction could start soon. It’s unclear who might bid to buy the whole or perhaps even a portion of BlackBerry at this point. The report suggests that private equity firms and some Asian technology companies.
Huawei ruled itself out and even Microsoft became a less likely candidate after its Nokia acquisition earlier this week. With potential suitors dropping out faster than ones are stepping up, BlackBerry is likely hoping to salvage as much company worth with a quick sale.
It’s also unclear what BlackBerry would do next should no credible bid come forward at the auction. One option might be to spin off divisions or assets such as BBM into separate companies that might be more palatable to prospective buyers.
As it stands, BlackBerry still has a market cap of US$5.63 billion.
Source : The Wall Street Journal