Will BlackBerry Break Up? Or Will Founders Buy It? Or…

The idea of breaking itself apart and selling the pieces is becoming more appealing to BlackBerry, according to news reports. At the same time, the company's co-founders may be considering making their own bid to take the company private.

In a story published Thursday by Bloomberg News Service, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company is said to be more open to the idea of a breakup, because of the growing possibility that Fairfax Financial Holdings, which recently made a $4.7 billion offer pending a due diligence period in which it will analyze the financials and look for partners, will be unable to raise the needed funding. Bloomberg cites an unspecified "person with knowledge of the matter."

Two of the largest pension funds in Canada, Alberta Investment Management Corp. and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, have said they would consider joining in a bid, as has another private equity firm, Cerberus Capital Management. Fairfax is reportedly looking for financing from Bank of America and BMO Capital Markets. Silver Lake Partners, which recently took Dell private, has also been mentioned as having been in talks with BlackBerry about enterprise computing.

Cisco, SAP, Intel

BlackBerry has reportedly approached other major companies about a buyout, including Cisco, SAP, Samsung, Intel, LG and Google, but Bloomberg said the indications are those possible suitors are primarily interested in parts of the company. The most valuable properties appear to be BlackBerry's global server network, mobile device management software, the patent portfolio and the enterprise division.

In particular, SAP, Cisco and Samsung have said they're only interested in one or more parts. SAP, for instance, is reportedly looking at the enterprise division. Intel is apparently primarily interested in the patents. The patent portfolio has been estimated by at least one analyst to be worth about $1.6 billion, and the enterprise network in the range of...

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