BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) shares fell as much as 5 percent in trading Wednesday after a report that the company had hired a second investment bank to advise on a possible sale of the company. The report is from Dana Cimilluca of The Wall Street Journal’s Moneybeat blog.
BlackBerry hires Perella Weinberg
The struggling company announced about a month ago that it had formed a special committee to explore strategic options. Now sources have apparently said that the company has retained boutique investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners.
BlackBerry had said it selected JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) to advise on the sale process, and sources told The Wall Street Journal that Royal Bank of Canada will also likely provide assistance during negotiations.
BlackBerry talking to interested partners
Last week BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) was said to have held preliminary talks with those interested in buying either part or all of the company. At this point it’s still unclear who might be interested in the company, but Prem Watsa, CEO of BlackBerry’s largest shareholder Fairfax Financial, was said to be interested.
It’s unclear why Perella Weinberg was reportedly brought into the negotiations, but it isn’t uncommon for companies like BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) to bring in another advisor when its board is considering a major transaction. The advisor would then make sure that possible conflicts of interest or other problems that may arise during the sale process are taken care of. This is especially common when a person close to the company itself may become involved in the purchase of the company.
Will BlackBerry close a deal?
At this point the company still has plenty of options, but the clock is ticking if it wants to get a deal done by November, as the board wants. It began lobbying to change foreign buyer rules this week in an attempt to pave the way for foreign buyers like Lenovo, which may potentially be interested in buying it. Other Asian tech companies and private equity investors in the U.S. may also be interested in BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), but a deal may not be possible if those rules are not changed.