BlackBerry Considers Going Private

by Christopher Freeburn | August 9, 2013 9:26 am

blackberry 630 rimm[1]Shares of BlackBerry (BBRY[2]) surged more than 5% in pre-market trading on Monday after rumors circulated that the company is weighing[3] the possibility of a sale[4].

Unnamed insider sources tell Reuters that the handset maker’s executive management and board are giving increasing thought to taking the struggling company private. However, no decision has yet been made and given its sliding share of the mobile device market, it would likely prove difficult for the company to finance a buyout, or located a buyer.

A source said the company has recently been in talks with private equity firm Silver Lake Partners over a possible mobile computing partnership, but the discussions did not include a potential buyout of BlackBerry.

The smartphone pioneer, whose devices were prized by business and government leaders, has fallen on hard time as  touchscreen devices from Apple (AAPL[5]) and manufactures using Google‘s (GOOG[6]) Android operating system have gobbled up the market, leaving BlackBerry a niche player at best. The company surprised Wall Street with a loss in the last fiscal quarter[7].

BlackBerry has pinned its hopes for a comeback on its new BlackBerry 10 operating system an several new smartphones, including its Z10. However, it has continued to hemorrhage subscribers and sales remain disappointing[8].

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