During its strategic review period, when BlackBerry was actively seeking a buyer, a number of companies and even individuals were rumored to have interest in taking the company private. Apple’s name never surfaced once, until now in a Reuters report, which claims that Cupertino was interested in BlackBerry’s intellectual property and patents but the board decided not to break up the company. Even when there was a lot of speculation about its buyout, a number of analysts predicted that the company will be broken up and sold off in parts. It was also rumored that even BlackBerry itself had warmed up to that idea, but in light of these new claims, it seems that breaking up was never an option.
Reuters cites “people familiar with the discussions,” who claim that the likes of Microsoft, Apple and Lenovo were all interested in acquiring parts of the company. Another recent report suggested that the Canadian government was not open to the idea of Lenovo taking over BlackBerry, so perhaps the Chinese manufacturer might have settled for a part of BlackBerry had it been broken up. While BlackBerry’s hardware division was expected to be of no value in such a situation, analysts predicted that the company’s patent portfolio could start a bidding war that might see only the patents being sold for as high as $5 billion. Apparently the board decided against breaking up the company because such a step would not “serve the interest of all stakeholders.” Instead, the company opted for a $1 billion investment from Fairfax Financial Holdings as well as other unnamed institutional investors and showed CEO Thorsten Heins the door.