Cisco Systems, Google and SAP Eyeing Bids for BlackBerry
Cisco Systems, Google and SAP have all taken a look at struggling smartphone manufacturer, BlackBerry with an eye to buying part, or even all of the company.
BlackBerry is in talks with its largest single shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings about a deal for the private equity group to take it private. However, it is allowed to seek alternative bids from other companies.
The company is currently valued at around US$4.7 billion, but that includes US$2.7 billion in cash that it has built up during the good times. Its patent portfolio, estimated to be worth around US$2-3 billion is however expected to decline in value sharply over the next couple of years.
Likewise, the cash pile is likely to be extinguished within 2 years unless it manages a turnaround in its fortunes.
Other potential bidders, including Intel, Samsung and LG Electronics have been given until next week to indicate if they are interested in bidding.
Once a company indicates interest, it can apply for access to BlackBerry's internal accounts to carry out due-diligence on the firm. Only then would they decide if a bid is worthwhile.
BlackBerry has set up a special committee to explore options for the company, and solicit potential bids from other firms interested in buying the company outright.
On the web: Reuters