Abu Dhabi-backed Carlyle Group approached for BlackBerry bid

Former owner Lazaridis courts private equity firm

Tags: Blackberry (www.blackberry.com)CanadaMergers and acquisitionsUnited Arab Emirates
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Abu Dhabi-backed Carlyle Group approached for BlackBerry bid The Carlyle Group is one of two potential bidders approached by Mike Lazaridis. (Getty Images)
By  Shane McGinley Published  September 22, 2013

Carlyle Group, the US private-equity firm in which Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development Company has a 7.5% stake, has been approached by Mike Lazaridis, the co-founder of BlackBerry who stepped down in last year, to launch a bid to buy the troubled smartphone company, it was reported at the weekend.

GALLERY: Z30: The last BlackBerry?

Lazaridis set up BlackBerry in 1985 but owns a 5.7% stake in the company, making him one of its largest individual shareholders. He left as co-chief executive in 2012 but has now approached private equity firms the Blackstone Group and the Carlyle Group, according to reports in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Lazaridis was not immediately reachable for comment and BlackBerry declined to comment, Reuters said.

The news comes as BlackBerry warned on Friday it expects to report a huge quarterly operating loss this week and that it will cut more than a third of its global workforce, rekindling fears of the company's demise and sending its shares into a tailspin.

GALLERY: Z30: The last BlackBerry?

The company, which has struggled to claw back market share from the likes of Apple's iPhone and Samsung Electronics' Galaxy phones, said it expects to report a net operating loss of between $950m and $995m in the quarter ended August 31, due to writedowns and other factors.

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