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Apple attempted BlackBerry buyout before being blocked

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Apple is said to have shown interest in buying out BlackBerry before being blocked by the board of the ailing Canadian handset maker.

One of a number of companies who are reported to have enquired into taking over the struggling maker of the BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 handsets, Apple’s interest is said to have been blocked by the BlackBerry board as they sought independent investment.

Citing “sources briefed on the matter,” news house Reuters has reported that Apple showed an interesting in acquiring BlackBerry in order to capitalise on the company’s patents and intellectual property rights. Other companies known to have looked into a BlackBerry buyout include Microsoft and Lenovo.

According to the sources: “The board rejected proposals from several technology companies for various BlackBerry assets on grounds that a break-up did not serve the interest of all stakeholders, which include employees, customers and suppliers in addition to shareholders, said the sources, who did not want to be identified as the discussions were confidential.”

Earlier this week BlackBerry announced that it was no longer looking for a takeover buyer having secured around $1 billion worth of investment.

With leading shareholder and investment firm Fairfax Financial Holdings pitching in some $250 million, BlackBerry has suggested that the investment will allow the company to continue operating in a manner that will better benefit all parties involved.

Despite coming out of sale, BlackBerry has decided to sack CEO Thorsten Heins, less than two years after the German took the reins of the company.

"Today's announcement represents a significant vote of confidence in BlackBerry and its future by this group of pre-eminent, long-term investors," Barbara Stymiest, chair of BlackBerry's board said. "The BlackBerry Board conducted a thorough review of strategic alternatives and pursued the course of action that it concluded is in the best interests of BlackBerry and its constituents, including its shareholders.”

She added: “This financing provides an immediate cash injection on terms favourable to BlackBerry, enhancing our substantial cash position. Some of the most important customers in the world rely on BlackBerry and we are implementing the changes necessary to strengthen the company and ensure we remain a strong and innovative partner for their needs.

“On behalf of the Board, I would also like to thank Thorsten for his service to BlackBerry over the past six years,” Stymiest stated. “Under his leadership, BlackBerry established a more efficient cost structure, developed new products, saw the adoption of BES 10 and delivered the BlackBerry 10 platform. These are all significant accomplishments. We are grateful for his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

The company added: “Today’s announcement marks the conclusion of the review of strategic alternatives previously announced on August 12, 2013.”

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