When we first heard of the Fairfax Financial BlackBerry buyout offer last month, it seemed like as good as a done deal; BlackBerry needed the money, Fairfax was offering plenty, and there was a $154 penalty if BlackBerry backed away from the deal. Nevertheless, in the time that’s followed we’ve heard talk about other parties possibly coming up with their own bids, including one led by BlackBerry founder Mike Laziridis. Today, some additional names are being thrown into that hat, and they include some of the bigger players in mobile.
Reuters reports that BlackBerry has been soliciting offers from companies including Samsung, LG, Google, Intel, Cisco, and SAP about acquiring part or all of BlackBerry. Some of those players may be interested in what BlackBerry’s patent portfolio could mean for their own phone businesses, while Cisco and SAP are presumably interested in the enterprise software side of BlackBerry.
If any of them do want to pick up some BlackBerry holdings they’re going to need to act quickly, as BlackBerry apparently wants preliminary interest expressed by early next week. That’s not saying we’ll necessarily learn of any deal quite so soon, but seeing some of these names drawn into the BlackBerry story sure has us wondering about what a future could look like with BlackBerry being absorbed by another smartphone OEM.