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BlackBerry Bidding War? Cerberus Said To Explore Joint Bid

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Believe it or not, the almost-defunct BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) could about to be plunged into a bidding war. Has this been what Fairfax Financial has been hoping for all along, as some analysts have suggested?

BlackBerry Bidding War? Cerberus Said To Explore Joint Bid

Cerberus joins with BlackBerry co-founders

Dana Cimilluca and Dana Mattioli of The Wall Street Journal report that Cerberus Capital Management LP is close to an agreement to enter a bid for BlackBerry. The firm is said to be joining with two of the company’s co-founders: Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin. At this point it isn’t clear if others will join into this joint bid.

We heard recently that Cerberus was said to have signed a non-disclosure agreement with BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) to look at its financial statements. Also a regulatory filing from Lazaridis and Fregin indicated in October that they were interested in submitting a bid or possibly joining with others in a bid for the struggling Canadian handset maker.

BlackBerry’s go-shop deadline nears

Fairfax Financial, BlackBerry’s largest shareholder, is leading a consortium which signed an early letter of intent with the company. That agreement included a go-shop period, during which Fairfax would conduct due diligence on BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB). The period ends on Monday, so the intent to submit a bid comes just in the nick of time. Fairfax’s offer is worth $4.7 billion or $9 per share.

According to The Wall Street Journal, there is still a chance that the offer from Cerberus, Lazaridis and Fregin might not surface, even if the group does officially form. However, if they do enter a bid, it could kick off a bidding war. Investors have clearly not been convinced that the $9 per share offer would go through, either with Fairfax or another group. Shares of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) have been trading far below that level for some time. The company’s market value is a little over $4 billion at this point.

Other possibilities for BlackBerry

There could even be more groups considering an eleventh-hour bid for BlackBerry. Lenovo Group Ltd. (PINK:LNVGY) (HKG:0992) has been said to be interested, and BlackBerry reportedly met with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) this week, although it’s doubtful whether the social network would even be interested in buying the company.

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