Faucette, in an earlier note after the strategic review announced, pinned a more realistic purchase price with private equity backing at between $8 and $10 per share, so about $5 billion at the high end. That sinks to $6 per share if Fairfax can't get private equity to go along for the ride.
And the analyst also pointed out that despite the fact that BlackBerry has $2.8 billion in cash on its books, it also disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing at the end of June that it had $5.3 billion in off-balance sheet purchase obligations, money that would mostly have to be paid if there is something other than a liquidation scenario in the works.
But there is one strategic acquirer reportedly talking to BlackBerry about a possible bid: China's Lenovo Group.
While Lenovo is primarily a PC maker, it is also stepping into the smartphone business, especially in emerging markets on the lower end of the price scale.That marriage makes some sense, one industry source said.
A Lenovo spokesman said the company doesn't comment on speculation. The man chosen to lead BlackBerry's special committee does seem well positioned for the task, whichever bidders come knocking. Timothy Dattels is a partner at TPG Capital LP, focusing on Asian investing. Before he joined the PE firm, he was with Goldman Sachs (GS), heading up banking for Asia ex-Japan. Bonus points: Dattels is a native Canadian.
Written by Paula Schaap.