Facebook and BlackBerry met to discuss buyout

It is not clear if Facebook has shown any interest in bidding

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
October 29, 2013
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I guess you can now add Facebook to the long list of companies that have been rumored and speculated to be in the running for buying BlackBerry.

Executives from BlackBerry flew to California last week to discuss with Facebook the possibility of a buyout, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

Sources did specify that they were not sure if Facebook was actually interested in bidding or not. And honestly, its hard to see why they would want to.

The move to meet with Facebook makes a lot of sense from BlackBerry's perspective. As it looks more and more like BlackBerry will most likely be broken up into parts, the company seems to want to find somebody, anybody, to buy the company. 

BlackBerry accepted a proposed $9 a share offer from a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings last month, which would have amounted to $4.7 billion. But there are now doubts about whether Fairfax can actually put that deal together.

So its most likely that BlackBerry flew Facebook out to gauge their interest. 

From Facebook's perspective, though, there seems to be little incentive for them to spend money on the company, especially after the failure of Facebook Home.

Home was an Andoid user interface introduced in April. it essentially took over an Android phone, replacing the home screen with Faceboo pictures and statuses. Home came preinstalled on HTC First devices.

Both bombed pretty badly. The best features from Home were incorporated into Facebook's mobile app, and sales of the HTC First were so bad that the rollout in the U.K. was cancelled only a month after it debuted. 

The lesson: people do not want a Facebook phone. So why would it want to take on the burden of trying to sell BlackBerry devices? It simply does not seem to be the company's best interest. 

"The Special Committee, with the assistance of the Company’s independent financial and legal advisors, is conducting a robust and thorough review of strategic alternatives. We do not intend to disclose further developments with respect to the process until we approve a specific transaction or otherwise conclude the review of strategic alternatives," a BlackBerry spokesperson told VatorNews. 

Facebook was not available for comment. 

BlackBerry officially put itself up for sale in August.

Besides Fairfax, there have been a slew of other companies and individuals whose names have been talked about as potential bidders. They have included Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Bain Capital, and Chinese smartphone and computer maker Lenovo Group. Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Google, SAP and Cisco were also interested.

And an SEC document also showed that Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin were perhaps interested in buying back the company that they started.

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