Sept. 5 - The beleaguered smartphone maker, BlackBerry, has reportedly narrowed its list of bidders as it seeks to sell itself by November. Fred Katayama reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL BlackBerry is speeding up its efforts to sell itself on the heels of the sale of Nokia's phone business to Microsoft. The beleaguered smartphone maker wants to run a quick auction process that could result in its sale by November, according to the Wall Street Journal. It has reportedly held talks with interested parties and narrowed its list of bidders which could include Lenovo, Bain Capital, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Cormark Securities analyst Richard Tse names Dell and HP as among other potential buyers. BlackBerry would not comment. The news comes just after Microsoft agreed to buy most of Nokia's phone business and just as other smartphone giants Samsung and Apple launch or get set to unveil their latest phones. The handsets BlackBerry had bet its future on, the BlackBerry 10s, have had disappointing sales; BlackBerry's once dominant market share has shriveled to 3 percent, and its stock has fallen another 40 percent since late January, although it got a lift on news of the Nokia deal and plans for a fast auction process. While the Nokia deal removed Microsoft as a potential bidder for BlackBerry, it showed BlackBerry's hardware has more value than some investors had thought, given that Nokia and BlackBerry have nearly equal shares in the smartphone market. Interest in BlackBerry had mostly been limited to its secure network system and pile of patents.