Despite customers not being particularly interested in buying its devices, there seem to be more than a few suitors hanging around outside BlackBerry’s offices, all seemingly keen on buying the company itself. BlackBerry has made no secret of its wish to sell up, and has even signed a letter of intent to do so to Fairfax Financial for $4.7 billion. However, it’s allowed to solicit other offers until November 4, when the diligence period ends, and rumors have been spreading it has been chatting to other possible buyers.
The latest is John Sculley, who long-time tech fans may remember as the CEO of Apple during the 80s and early 90s, who has since gone on to manage and fund other companies, including several in the wireless industry. A report in the Globe and Mail, quoting anonymous sources, reveals Sculley’s apparent interest in BlackBerry, although he declined to comment on the story to the publication. He did, however, say he is a long-time BlackBerry fan, and uses a BlackBerry smartphone.
In an interview, Sculley is quoted as saying he thinks there is, “A lot of future value in BlackBerry, but without experienced people who have run this type of business, and without a strategic plan, it would be really challenging.” BlackBerry’s current CEO is Thorsten Heins, who rose through the ranks after joining the firm from Siemens in 2007, and took over BlackBerry’s top job at the beginning of 2012.
BlackBerry is on a quest to sell the company before the end of November, and aside from Fairfax and Sculley, Lenovo’s name has recently come up, along with co-founder and former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, but no bids have been publicly announced from either. One company which won’t be buying is Huawei, when an executive from the Chinese firm said it would prefer, “To rely on ourselves,” following speculation it was keen to secure BlackBerry.
As Fairfax is the only one with an offer on the table, it’s currently in the winning seat. Provided, that is, it can come up with the cash when the time comes.