BlackBerry to Lobby Government as Plans to Sell Get Stifled

Waterloo-based smartphone maker BlackBerry is poised to lobby the Canadian government to allow for a foreign buyer to acquire parts or all of the company.

Currently, the Investment Canada Act states that the government automatically reviews any foreign takeover bid of more than $332 million. BlackBerry’s marketshare is currently around $5 billion.

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The smartphone pioneer, which has struggled in recent years amid competition from Apple, Google, and others, is unlikely to be sold in a domestic buyout. The only serious bidder at the moment is Prem Watsa and his firm Fairfax Financial Holdings; as the largest shareholder in BlackBerry, he’s been trying to pull together pension funds to acquire the Waterloo company. But insiders suggest his plan is crumbling due to a lack of interest.

It’s unknown whether there are any serious foreign bidders circling BlackBerry, but it would at least open up the company’s options. Right now, a foreign takeover would most likely be rejected by the Canadian government, which could be why interest has so far been minimal.