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

The results will put more pressure on BlackBerry to find a buyer for either some parts of the company, or for all of it. It said last month it is weighing its options, including an outright sale, in the face of persistently lacklustre sales of its new smartphones, which run on the BlackBerry 10 operating system.

GALLERY: Z30: The last BlackBerry?

"The company has sailed off a cliff," said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis. "What do you expect when you announce you're up for sale? Who wants to commit to a platform that could possibly be shut down?"

BlackBerry's Toronto-listed shares fell as much as 23.7% to C$8.25 on Friday, their lowest this year, before closing down 16% at C$9.08. The company's Nasdaq-listed shares ended 17% lower at $8.73, after falling as low as $8.01.

The company said it plans to shave its operating costs by some 50% over the next nine months, as it aims to focus its attention on the enterprise market and become a more niche player. But some analysts are skeptical that the company can cut its way back to prosperity.

GALLERY: Z30: The last BlackBerry?

"We believe the most likely outcome is a break-up or sale in total or in parts," UBS analyst Amitabh Passi told Reuters. A source at a potential suitor said the warning on Friday may speed up the sale process, but it also adds more risks. "I think most will view it as pretty scary. It's a melting ice cube," said the source.

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