In September a Canadian investment firm made a $4.7 billion buyout offer to BlackBerry — but banks are so skeptical about the former smartphone giant the firm is reportedly having trouble raising the funds. Reuters reports that Fairfax Financial Holdings has found that several large banks don't want to be involved with the deal, primarily because they don't think the troubled company will be able to turn things around enough to make the investment worthwhile.
Fairfax head Prem Watsa is said to be working with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BMO Capital Markets to put together a group for the deal, but has reportedly found such efforts stymied. That's not to say a coalition is definitely out of the question. One could still come together despite the current difficulties, and it's also important to note that both financial entitles have considerable resources in their own right. The news comes as reports surface that BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis is working with Qualcomm to put together his own buyout group.
In the wake of the Fairfax offer — and the desire of BlackBerry's board to sell the company this year — BlackBerry has been gauging interest from almost every technology company out there, including the likes of Facebook, Google, and Samsung. November 4th is the key date, however. That's when competing buyout offers will be due, and it's also the deadline by which Fairfax will need to negotiate a definitive agreement should its own deal go through. This kind of news coming out the Friday before the deadline could be an effort to scare away possible competitors, but in any case we should know more about BlackBerry's next steps in just a few days.