BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) may not be stuck with the $9 per share offer from the consortium led by Fairfax Financial after all. Now it looks like the struggling company is receiving interest from other suitors—something most analysts, even those who are more positive on the company, have said probably wouldn’t happen.
Cerberus said to be interested in BlackBerry
The Dow Jones Newswires reported today that Cerberus Capital Management LP and at least one other investor has expressed interest in BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB). Sharon Terlep and Dana Cimilluca of The Wall Street Journal report more in-depth on the supposed offer from Cerberus. They cite “people familiar with the matter,” who actually suggested that two others, apart from Cerberus, might be interested.
According to their sources, Cerberus wants to sign a confidentiality agreement so it can view the company’s private financial statements. The firm actually specializes in investing in distressed companies. However, the source said there is a chance that the firm will end up not making a bid for the struggling company. The person also said a second firm which also invests in distressed companies may also be interested.
Other suitors interested in BlackBerry?
Shares of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) spiked more than 1.5 percent at the NASDAQ today after the news about Cerberus was revealed. Investors and analysts alike have been concerned that the offer from Fairfax will not happen, possibly because the firm and its consortium may not be able to line up financing for it.
Also the deal is subject to BlackBerry passing the consortium’s due diligence process, and the company will have to pay about $150 million if it walks away from the Fairfax offer to accept a bid from someone else. BlackBerry is said to have accepted the offer mainly because it hoped other offers from other investors would be forthcoming and also because it might put a floor on its stock price.
BlackBerry co-founder interested in Blackberry?
According to The Journal’s sources, Cerberus was not actually one of the private-equity firms BlackBerry had been speaking with recently. At this point it is still unclear whether anyone else other than Fairfax will make a bid, either for all or part of BlackBerry.
However, Mike Lazaridis, who cofounded the company, is also said to be considering making an offer. He is not currently with BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB), although recent disclosures show that he held a 5.7 percent stake in the company recently. The Wall Street Journal’s sources also said he has been talking about joining the Fairfax-led consortium and may still do so.
BlackBerry to increase cost-cutting measures
On Tuesday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) disclosed further information about just how dire its financial situation has becoming. It said it will incur $400 million in additional charges over the course of the rest of the fiscal year as it cuts costs even further. Those cost-cutting measures include the already announced plans to slash its workforce by 40 percent.