BlackBerry's biggest shareholder is reportedly preparing a bid for the troubled smartphone maker.
Fairfax Holdings, an insurer run by Toronto, Ontario-based investor Prem Watsa, holds a stake of around 9.9 per cent in BlackBerry, having doubled its holding in April last year when the company's stock price was rock-bottom.
According to Reuters, it has approached a number of major Canadian investment funds with a view to funding or putting together a joint bid. However, the proposal is at an early stage - described as "an airy-fairy, 'what if' kind of thing," according to Reuters' source.
Fairfax's chairman and CEO, Watsa, left the board of BlackBerry when the company announced its strategic review last month in order to avoid any allegations of a conflict of interest - indicating that he was considering a bid for part or all of the company.
In addition, according to Reuters, one other potential buyer has also made an "early and informal approach" to BlackBerry. "There have been various calls saying 'if we came up with some kind of a proposal would you look at it?'," Reuters' source said.
BlackBerry - which used to be called Research in Motion, or RIM - is currently valued at about $6bn.
However, a bid is still some way off. Any formal approach from Watsa would require the backing of more than one of Canada's big pension funds - which also hold shares in BlackBerry - and, should a concrete proposal be tabled, BlackBerry's investors would also want to examine other options before voting in favour.