BlackBerry shares jump after report board seeks quick sale

CBC

BlackBerry Ltd. shares bounced up in opening trading Thursday after the Wall Street Journal reported the Waterloo, Ont.,-based firm could announce a buyer by November. Its stock was up 36 cents, or 3.2 per cent, to $11.64.

The WSJ, relying on anonymous sources, said the smartphone maker had narrowed its list of potential bidders for all or part of BlackBerry’s business.

A special committee of BlackBerry board members is vetting potential buyers and is reported to want a quick solution.

Once a market leader, BlackBerry’s share of the smartphone market has dwindled to 2.7 per cent, according to IDC as Apple iPhone and Google Android products became popular. Its share is expected to slide further as companies avoid it.

BlackBerry, which has been shedding jobs for the last two years, began restructuring efforts in July and announced it was looking for partners.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Bain Capital and Chinese equipment maker Lenovo are believed to be interested in all or part of BlackBerry. There is no firm news of an offer or who might be kicking the tires to investigate a stake in the company.

Microsoft is now out of the running, as it purchased Nokia’s smartphone business in a deal announced Monday.

On Thursday, BlackBerry announced it had joined the Fido Alliance, FIDO or Fast IDentity Online. FIDO members commit to delivering open standards to enable an interoperable authentication method for their technologies.

Rather than having to remember multiple user names and passwords, consumers can use the same secure password on multiple devices and platforms.

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