TORONTO (AP) — Private equity firm Cerberus is interested in taking a look at BlackBerry's books as a prelude to a possible bid for the troubled smartphone company.
Cerberus is looking to sign a confidentiality agreement with BlackBerry that would allow it to access the company's private information, an official familiar with the situation said Wednesday on condition of anonymity. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the private talks.
BlackBerry announced last month that Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. signed a letter of intent that "contemplates" buying BlackBerry for $9 a share, or $4.7 billion. Fairfax, BlackBerry's largest shareholder, is trying to attract other investors. It's unclear whether Cerebus is seeking to join Fairfax's deal or bid for Blackberry on its own. BlackBerry is allowed to look for other buyers while Fairfax conducts six weeks of due diligence.
BlackBerry shares were down four percent Wednesday before the Wall Street Journal first reported news of interest from Cerberus. The shares finished up four cents, or half a percent, closing at $7.96.
Blackberry's stock has recently traded lower than Fairfax's tentative offer on fears that the deal won't go through or that the final price will end up much lower.