Lazaridis May Team with Cerberus to Pursue BlackBerry
Updated: added reference to Qualcomm.
Former BlackBerry CEO and co-founder Mike Lazaridis is close to reaching an agreement with private equity firm Cerberus that would see them make a joint bid for the ailing smartphone maker. According to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal, Lazaridis and another co-founder of BlackBerry, Doug Fregin, may combine their own shares with capital from Cerberus. BlackBerry already has an offer on the table from Fairfax Financial Holdings with a November 4 deadline attached. If no other legitimate offers come through before November 4, Fairfax can move forward with its bid to acquire the company and take it private. Both Cerberus and Lazaridis have previously and separately made noise about making bids for BlackBerry. Several other firms have expressed interest, too, but no solid offers have been made other than the one from Fairfax. The Journal's sources say that while a deal between Lazaridis and Cerberus is a possibility, they may not make a bid in time to beat the November 4 deadline. Following its initial report, the Journal later reported that Qualcomm is talking to Lazaridis and Cerberus, as well.
SEC Investigating Suspicious BlackBerry Trades
The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into trades of BlackBerry stock around the time a report suggested Samsung might buy the company. On January 14, Reuters reported that Samsung planned to buy BlackBerry for as much as $7.5 billion.
BlackBerry Signs Licensing Deal with India's Optiemus
BlackBerry today said it has licensed its smartphone brand to Optiemus, a smartphone maker based in India. The deal represents the third such agreement forged by BlackBerry with other hardware manufacturers.
BlackBerry to Kill Off Smartphone-Making Business
BlackBerry today said it will no longer make and sell its own smartphones. Instead, it will rely on original device manufacturers to design and make devices that will carry BlackBerry branding and software.
Sharp Leaning Toward Foxconn's $5.5B Bid
Sharp is favoring an acquisition offer from Foxconn over a potential rescue from Japanese investors. Sharp has lost market share in the consumer electronics business over the last few years while prices for its display panels have sunk.
BlackBerry Weighing Move to Android
BlackBerry is considering whether or not to make a smartphone based on Google's Android platform rather than its own operating system, reports Reuters. Citing sources familiar with BlackBerry's plans, Reuters says the company is working on a slider handset that would have a touch screen and a slide-out physical keyboard for typing.
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