According to Bloomberg, Coller Capital, the private-equity firm founded by British financier Jeremy Coller, is in talks with multiple bidders to join in an offer for BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY), a person familiar with the discussions said.
Coller will put up some financing as part of the bids, said the person, who asked not be identified because the talks are private. The firm, which buys and sells intellectual property, is seeking to acquire about 10 percent of BlackBerry’s patents if it makes a deal, the person said.
The patents of interest to Coller cover technologies ranging from push notifications to messaging, according to the person. BlackBerry’s intellectual property accounts for as much as 20 percent of the company’s total value, the person said.
BlackBerry, which announced in August that it was entertaining bids, has drawn a number of interested parties, though little in the way of concrete offers. Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (FFH), BlackBerry’s largest investor, signed a tentative agreement to acquire the smartphone maker for $4.7 billion last month — without naming its buyout partners or showing that it has lined up financing. Cerberus Capital Management LP is looking at BlackBerry’s books, whileLenovo Group Ltd. (992) has also expressed interest in a BlackBerry deal, according to people familiar with the matter.
Coller, which has offices in London, New York and Hong Kong, is working with multiple parties to ensure that it’s part of a successful deal, the person with knowledge of the talks said. In addition to offering upfront financing, Coller may also share royalties from licensing the patents with the winning bidder, the person said.
BlackBerry co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin, who walked away from management positions in the company in recent years, are also contemplating a bid. They said on Oct. 10 that they’re working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) to explore the idea.