One of the issues preventing interested buyers (particularly foreign investors) from striking a deal with BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is the existing regulation of the Canadian government regarding foreign acquisitions.
BlackBerry decided to lobby the rules for foreign acquisitions
In an effort to remove the hurdle, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) decided to lobby the rules for foreign acquisitions of local companies, known as the Canada Investment Act, with lawmakers in the country.
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The Canadian smartphone manufacturer included the Canada Investment Act in its list of lobbying efforts within the federal lobbying registry and met with government officials regarding the impact of the regulation on any agreement with a foreign investor, according to a report from the Globe and Mail.
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) discussed the issue with government officials—even if the company does not have any forthcoming or pending transaction with a foreign investor. According to the sources, the company made the move to inform government officials regarding its strategy to save the company and to seek advice regarding the Canada Investment Act in case of a foreign takeover.
Earlier this month, it had been reported that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) already spoke with interested parties interested in acquiring some of its assets or even the entire company. The Canadian smartphone manufacturer wants to execute a speedy sale process.
Prem Watsa is facing challenges
A related report from the Financial Post indicated that the Canadian smartphone manufacturer made the move to meet government officials regarding a potential foreign takeover due to speculations that Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (TSE:FFH) is facing challenges in putting together a group of local investors to acquire the company. Some people are increasingly uncertain that Watsa will be able to succeed in encouraging Canadian pension funds to support his effort.
John O’Connel, CEO of Davis Rea Ltd commented, “Why would Canadian pension plans buy this thing?” There’s no indication that this business has bottomed, and every indication to show they continue to lose market shares.”
On the other hand, Collin Gillis, analysts at BGC Financial, opined that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is discussing the issue of a potential foreign takeover to avoid surprises. He said, “Of course they would want to do this. It doesn’t mean they have a Chinese buyer or an American buyer – it’s due diligence.”
Last month, the Canadian smartphone manufacturer created a special committee to explore strategic alternatives such as taking the company private or selling itself as it struggles to revive its market share and profitability.