BlackBerry approaches Facebook for bid: WSJ

Flagging handset maker sees potential buyer in social media giant

Tags: Blackberry ( IncorporationMergers and acquisitionsUSA
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BlackBerry approaches Facebook for bid: WSJ Facebook may see value in BlackBerry’s proprietary networking technologies. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  October 30, 2013

Ailing vendor BlackBerry has approached Facebook Inc to invite a bid for the struggling Canadian smartphone business, The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the report, BlackBerry executives met with Facebook representatives in California last week, although no information was immediately available on how receptive Facebook was to the approach.

Facebook has previously released a smartphone as a joint venture with Taiwanese manufacturer HTC, but CEO Mark Zuckerberg is thought not to favour a focused smartphone strategy. However, a sale of part of BlackBerry's assets to the social networking company might make sense if such a deal included patents covering network security and encrypted messaging.

The current deal on the table for BlackBerry is an offer from its biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings, to purchase the business in its entirety for $9 a share, amounting to $4.7bn. Since the proposal was made, BlackBerry has spoken to a number of other suitors, including SAP, which has said it will not take the discussions further. Others include Lenovo, Google and Cisco.

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