Limping BlackBerry makes buyout overtures to Google, others -- report

The beleaguered smartphone maker is seeking "preliminary expressions of interest" for all or part of the company from Google, Samsung, LG, and others, according to news agency Reuters.

Edward Moyer Senior Editor
Edward Moyer is a senior editor at CNET and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. ¶ For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
Expertise Wordsmithery. Credentials
  • Ed was a member of the CNET crew that won a National Magazine Award from the American Society of Magazine Editors for general excellence online. He's also edited pieces that've nabbed prizes from the Society of Professional Journalists and others.
Edward Moyer
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins Geoff Robins/AFP/GettyImages

Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry is in touch with Google, Samsung, Intel, and other tech heavyweights about a possible buyout, according to a Reuters report.

The news agency cites several unnamed sources "close to the matter" in reporting that the Canadian company "has asked for preliminary expressions of interest from potential strategic buyers" by early next week. Those contacted include Cisco, Google, Intel, LG, Samsung, and SAP, Reuters said, adding that those companies declined to comment (or, in Samsung's case, hadn't yet replied).

BlackBerry is floating the idea of a complete or partial acquisition, Reuters reports, and "the potential technology buyers have been especially interested in BlackBerry's secure server network and patent portfolio, although doubts about the assets' value remain an issue." It's not clear if any of the companies will make an offer.

Last month, Toronto-based insurer Fairfax Financial Holdings said it would lead a consortium that intends to take BlackBerry private, with a tentative $4.7 billion bid. The embattled smartphone maker is also said to have attracted interest from firms specializing in "distressed investing," including private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP.

In response to Reuters' queries about this latest info, BlackBerry told the news agency in a statement only that "the special committee, with the assistance of BlackBerry's independent financial and legal advisers, is conducting a robust and thorough review of strategic alternatives."

BlackBerry also apparently has some office space for sale.