BlackBerry shares rise on possible Cerberus bidding interest

Wed Oct 2, 2013 7:42pm EDT
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TORONTO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The possibility of a second offer for BlackBerry Ltd reversed a slide in its stock price on Wednesday after the struggling smartphone maker said it expected to record $400 million in pre-tax charges related to cuts announced last month.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters that private equity group Cerberus Capital Management LP was considering an offer for BlackBerry, which put itself on the block in August after bleeding market share to other smartphone makers.

The Wall Street Journal earlier named Cerberus as one of two firms that specialize in distressed investing that might be looking at BlackBerry. It did not name the second firm.

The Journal quoted one of its sources as saying that Cerberus aims to sign a confidentiality agreement with BlackBerry that would give it access to private financial information, but that it might in the end not bid.

Cerberus declined to comment.

BlackBerry shares were up about 1 percent, reversing a 5 percent fall earlier in the session.

The stock, at about $8 by mid afternoon, remained well below a tentative $9 a share offer from a consortium led by Toronto insurer Fairfax Financial Holdings Inc, which wants to take the smartphone maker private.

BlackBerry, which increasingly competes unsuccessfully with Apple Inc's iPhones and devices running Google Inc's Android operating system, accepted the tentative $4.7 billion Fairfax offer last month.

Fairfax and BlackBerry declined to comment.   Continued...

The company logo is see at the Blackberry campus in Waterloo, September 23, 2013. REUTERS/Mark Blinch