Reuters reports today that despite interest from both Apple and Microsoft in obtaining pieces of BlackBerry, the Canadian company’s board elected not to break up the company. The report says the company also held discussions with Cisco, Google, and Lenovo.
Reuters, via MacRumors:
BlackBerry Ltd’s board does not believe a break-up of the Canadian smartphone maker is currently in its best interests, even though Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc and Lenovo Group Ltd, among others, have expressed interest in acquiring parts of the company, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Sources, who didn’t wish to be identified, told the publication that the board rejected the proposals for the various BlackBerry assets on the grounds that a break-up didn’t serve the interest of all stakeholders. These included employees, customers and suppliers in addition to shareholders.
Blackberry was forced to layoff significant numbers of employees earlier this year. The company received a $4.7 billion takeover bid from Fairfax Financial in September. However, both parties have agreed not to proceed with the offer, opting instead for a $1 billion investment in BlackBerry from Fairfax and several other investors. BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has also stepped down.
BlackBerry holds a patent portfolio worth approximately $1 to $3 billion. The portfolio grew by 966 patents in 2012, making it quite attractive to companies like Apple and Google. The patents are also relatively new, increasing their overall value due to a long lifespan ahead of them.