Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo has signed a non-disclosure deal to examine the books of ailing smartphone maker BlackBerry, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
BlackBerry said in August it was looking at the possibility of a sale, while at the end of September the Canadian company was reportedly close to a US$4.7 billion buyout led by Fairfax Financial.
At the end of September BlackBerry reported a second quarter loss of US$965 million, subsequently cutting its workforce by more than one third, while earlier this week it wrote an open letter to its customers talking up its credentials and emphasising they can still “count on BlackBerry”.
Aside from Fairfax, other companies are also looking at the company’s books to decide whether to bid, industry sources told the Wall Street Journal, though the paper says a Chinese bid for BlackBerry would be likely to face opposition from the Canadian government.
BlackBerry has been losing out to the iPhone and Android devices in recent years, while its new line of smartphones, running on the BlackBerry 10 operating system (OS), have failed to produce a turnaround.
BlackBerry’s strategic decision to go private could still be threatened, despite reported interest from the likes of Cisco, Google and SAP, by a class action lawsuit filed, seeking to represent thousands of shareholders who purchased stock between September 27, 2012, and September 20, 2013.