Aug 8 - Sources tell Reuters BlackBerry is considering going private to fix its problems. Fred Katayama reports.
BlackBerry's CEO insists his company is on the right track, but now, Thorsten Heins and the board are considering pulling a Dell: going private. Several sources told Reuters they're warming up to the idea that taking the smartphone maker private would give them room to fix the company's problems. And it's got plenty to fix. The BlackBerry 10 phones on which the company had bet its turnaround has posted poor sales, and the company shocked investors with a huge quarterly loss of money and subscribers. Investors now value the company at just $4.8 billion, 94 percent below its peak. The very notion that it's considering pulling out of the stock market is a turnaround in thinking. BlackBerry has long insisted it would remain independent. A source says BlackBerry has held talks with the very firm that is trying to take Dell private, Silver Lake Partners. Although those talks didn't touch upon a buyout, the source said one scenario calls for BlackBerry cooperating in mobile computing with a newly private Dell. BlackBerry's stock bounced sharply higher on the latest news. But going private won't be easy. No deal is imminent. It's possible no private equity firm would make a bet. And if they do, Canadian officials could possibly step in to block a buyout.