Aug 12 - BlackBerry's board says it will consider a possible sale of the company as it explores its options. Fred Katayama reports.
BlackBerry is looking at a possible sale of the company. The smartphone maker said a special committee of directors could consider joint ventures, partnerships and alliances as well. The news comes just three days after Reuters reported exclusively that the company was considering going private to buy time to fix its problems. Chairing the special committee is senior partner at private equity firm TPG Capital, Timothy Dattels. He said, "Given the importance and strength of our technology, and the evolving industry and competitive landscape, we believe that now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives." Some investors fear that time is running out, reducing BlackBerry's market value by 93 percent. Today those shares bounced sharply higher on news of BlackBerry's move to look at options. BlackBerry has to hurry to stem the loss of money as well as subscribers and market share to Apple and Android phones. The phone that it had bet its future on, the BlackBerry 10, has had lackluster sales. Board director Prem Watsa said he's leaving the board due to potential conflicts of interest. The company he heads, is BlackBerry's largest shareholder, but he said it doesn't plan to sell its shares for now. BlackBerry's options may be limited. But its patent rich portfolio and services businesses could interest some tech firms.