BlackBerry considering management takeover, funded by a private equity firm linked to Dell

The board of troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry is looking to take the company private, with reports linking a potential private equity firm associated with Dell to the talks.

According to Reuters, directors and senior managers at the Canadian-based firm are increasingly warming to the possibility of taking the company private as it undergoes a major restructure.

Funding for a possible buyout has been linked to private equity firm Silver Lake Capital, which recently joined Michael Dell and Microsoft in a bid to take struggling PC giant Dell private.

This, in turn, has prompted speculation of a possible Dell-Blackberry merger taking place under Silver Lake Capital.

News of the possible management takeover emerged following a string of high-profile departures as the company cuts 250 jobs.

As SmartCompany reported last week, corporate information technology operations vice-president Doug Kozak, global manufacturing and supply chain senior vice-president Carmine Arabia, and service operations vice-president Graeme Whittington are the latest senior executives to leave the company.

While BlackBerry was an early pioneer in the smartphone industry, recent IDC figures show BlackBerry’s worldwide smartphone shipments fell to just 6.8 million units during the second quarter of 2013.

This was down by 11.7% year-on-year from 7.7 million units during the second quarter of 2012, despite the release of the company’s BlackBerry 10 series of smartphones.


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