RIM co-founders to partner with Cerberus and Qualcomm for BlackBerry bid?

BlackBerry logo on F1 car

When Fairfax Capital Holdings and BlackBerry signed a letter of intent agreement to take the beleaguered smartphone manufacturer private, it allowed BlackBerry to shop itself around for a better deal until November 4. That deadline is now just around the corner. While no formal bids have yet to materialize, a number of parties are reportedly interested and they could make one right up to the very last minute. Among them could be one that involves RIM co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin. According to The Wall Street Journal, their bid could move forward with two new allies, Cerberus Capital Management LP and Qualcomm Inc.

The consortium is reportedly looking to keep BlackBerry intact, something that Lazaridis is keen to see happen. The move would also give Qualcomm access to BlackBerry’s patents and radio technology and help it try to keep ahead of its own competitors in the smartphone chipset market. It could also be looking to keep one of its customers alive.

As for Fairfax Financial Holdings, it appears that its own bid is facing some challenges. Reuters reports that a number of financial institutions have decided not to participate in the US$4.7 billion deal over concerns that the company will not be able to stop its downward spiral. It could be up to its current partners, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BMO Capital Markets, to determine whether the bid moves forward or not.

There could also be another last minute bidder. Microsoft could swoop in to grab BlackBerry’s portfolio along with enterprise technologies and customers. While it would likely kill off BlackBerry’s handset business, it would also get its hand on the QNX software that formed the basis of BlackBerry 10.

Other parties that have been mentioned in the past include Cisco, Google, Lenovo, former Apple CEO John Sculley and even Facebook.

Get ready for what could be a very interesting week for BlackBerry news.

Sources : The Wall Street Journal // Reuters // The Globe and Mail