Private equity firm Veritas is making a bid to acquire BlackBerry-source

Private equity firm Veritas is making a bid to acquire BlackBerry-source

By Greg Romeliotis

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Veritas Capital has made an offer to buy BlackBerry Ltd., according to a person familiar with the matter, months after the Canadian technology company launched a strategic review.

US-listed BlackBerry shares, which earlier rose about 17% after the news, closed at $5.23, giving the company a market value of $3.1 billion.

Offer details cannot be found. Veritas and BlackBerry did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Veritas has made an offer for the entire company, the source said, adding that BlackBerry is also in talks with other potential buyers.

BlackBerry said in May that it would consider strategic options for its portfolio, which could include the possibility of spinning off one or more of its businesses.

Founded in 1984, the company currently manufactures automotive and cyber security software. It became famous for its ubiquitous commercial smartphones, which were touted by CEOs, politicians, and legions of fans in the early 2000s.

It shut down its smartphone business last year and has since been trying to sell old patents related to its mobile devices.

In May, BlackBerry said it would continue to sell patents related to its previously announced mobile devices to Malikie Innovations Limited for up to $900 million. An earlier deal to sell these patents to Catapult IP Innovations Inc. for $600 million fell through, as it took longer than usual to close.

And in 2016, BlackBerry said it would no longer manufacture its classic smartphones. Since then, the company has been trying to reshape itself as a provider of cutting-edge software.

BlackBerry operates two core businesses – one focused on cybersecurity software, and the other manufacturing “Internet of Things” products. Veritas Capital is a technology investor that primarily buys and invests in companies that provide government-focused tools and services.

Morgan Stanley and Perella Weinberg Partners are acting as financial advisors to BlackBerry in connection with the strategic review.

Bloomberg News reported the conversations between Veritas and BlackBerry earlier on Friday.

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shweta Agarwal and Grant McCall)

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