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BlackBerry Shares Soar Following Privatization Reports

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Blackberry (BBRY - Get Report) is reportedly investigating the possibility of going private.

Blackberry shares jumped more than 6% to $9.80 in trading early Friday.

According to Reuters, Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins and the company's board are considering going private to help keep the smartphone maker's current problems and possible solutions under wraps.

Blackberry's latest smartphones, the Z10 and Q10, have yet to help the company's bottom line. Actual sales numbers have come in below some analysts' estimates. The Canadian company's shares have fallen nearly 20% so far this year. The company had been valued at $84 billion in 2008. It's current market value is $4.8 billion.

Sources believe that although there has been a recent "change of tone" from the board, no privatization deal is imminent and no type of sales process has officially been launched.

Reuters reported Blackberry has recently had private-equity discussions with Silver Lake Partners concerning enterprise computing. Silver Lake is the company currently involved in the $25 billion bid to help Michael Dell take Dell (DELL) private. The private-equity firm could benefit from a Dell/Blackberry mobile computing collaboration. Silver Lake declined a request for comment.

Blackberry is also reportedly considering licensing it's current operating system (BB 10) as well as a number of other possible collaborations. A press spokesperson told TheStreet Friday morning that the company doesn't "comment on rumor or speculation."

On a positive note, the U.S. Department of Defense recently gave Blackberry Z10 and Q10 phones the "Authority to Operate" on official defense department networks -- the first "Mobile Defense Management" provider to receive approval.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.
Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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