Seeking to spark a bidding war for the smartphone maker, BlackBerry’s advisers have been reaching out to its technology partners to gauge interest, the people said. SAP, Cisco and Samsung aren’t interested in making an offer for the whole company, though they may consider individual parts, they said.
SAP is evaluating whether parts of the company, including its enterprise business, may be attractive, one of the people said. The enterprise division securely manages fleets of smartphones, including BlackBerrys, for business customers.
Intel Corp. (INTC) doesn’t want to bid for all or part of the company, though it wouldn’t rule out evaluating the company’s patents, said a person familiar with the chipmaker’s thinking.
Jim Dever, a spokesman for Walldorf, Germany-based SAP, declined to comment, as did Cisco’s John Earnhardt and Intel’s Robert Manetta. Chenny Kim, a spokeswoman for Samsung, said her company has ruled out a bid for all of BlackBerry.
The enterprise network, meanwhile, could be worth $550 million to $1.1 billion, said Li, who rates BlackBerry (BBRY) the equivalent of a hold. Its value may depend in part on how quickly BlackBerry’s subscriber base declines. The company’s customer base slipped to 72 million in June from 76 million in March. Since then, BlackBerry has stopped disclosing a number.
The phones themselves are unprofitable and a buyer may just shut down that business, so that operation isn’t considered an asset, Li said.
Leo de Bever, the CEO of Alberta Investment, said this week that the bidding process has been unusual and that BlackBerry will probably be broken up. “It’s the most bizarre sales process I’ve seen in a long time,” he said in an interview. “We’re looking at it, but nobody’s come to us with a proposal that makes any sense.”
I agree. Given how much TCS has invested in this handset and the QNX business, it's a pretty relevent concern. If QNX gets sold to someone with a competitive nav business, it could also hurt TCS. Keeping it real.