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Cerberus reportedly mulling a run at BlackBerry

The smartphone maker is said to have held talks with firms specializing in "distressed investing" including Cerberus Capital Management LP.

Josh Miller/CNET
Embattled smartphone maker BlackBerry is said to have attracted interest from firms specializing in "distressed investing," including private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Cerberus is seeking to sign a confidentiality agreement that will give the firm access to BlackBerry's private financial information, citing sources familiar with the situation. However, in the end, Cerberus may well decide against bidding.

There is at least one other investment firm that is said to be interested, though the Journal did not name it.

Last month, the 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 once mighty smartphone maker has since lost most of its market share to Apple's iPhone and Google's Android operating system, as well as the companies that make hardware that run Android, like Samsung and HTC. But BlackBerry has been in even more dire straits of late. It recently announced laying off 40 percent of its workforce. In an SEC filing released on Tuesday, the company revised its outlook for the rest of the fiscal year and said it expects to incur about $400 million in charges related to things like severance and "network simplification costs."