Former Apple CEO John Sculley has confirmed that he and a group of investors were lining up a bid for BlackBerry, but they waited too long and lost out. In an interview on Bloomberg Surveillance, Sculley reveals how he was surprised when the struggling smartphone maker announced a $1 billion investment deal earlier this week.
Sculley’s interest in a BlackBerry acquisition was first reported by Globe and Mail on October 24. He wouldn’t confirm his interest then, but he did admit that he was a “long-time BlackBerry fan and user.”
Now Sculley has confirmed that he got together with a group of investors to make a bid for the Canadian company, but they decided to wait to see if its price tag was reduced first. As it turns out, they waited too long and BlackBerry reached a deal with Fairfax Financial instead — one that means it won’t have to sell its business after all.
“We were pretty confident that we had the funds to be able to do the deal, but we didn’t think Prem Watsa from Fairfax was going to be able get his deal fully funded,” Sculley said. “So we decided to wait and see what happened because we thought the price might drop or there may be other bidders coming in.”
BlackBerry was initially in talks with Fairfax over a $4.7 billion buyout, but when Fairfax failed in its efforts to raise cash for the deal, it proposed a $1 billion investment deal instead — which BlackBerry agreed to.