Paper: Watsa thinking of taking BlackBerry private

|About: BlackBerry Ltd. (BB)|By:, SA News Editor

Sources tell The Globe and Mail Prem Watsa, fresh off resigning from BlackBerry's (BBRY +10.5%) board, is "exploring ways" to take the company private.

The paper adds "there was no strategic disagreement" between Watsa and the board, and that his resignation was purely done to avoid conflicts of interest. Watsa's firm, Fairfax Financial, is reportedly "holding talks with a number of private equity and industry players" about a possible deal.

Meanwhile, Evercore has upgraded BlackBerry to Hold, and gives the company a $10/share sum-of-the-parts valuation. The firm thinks a buyer could see value in BlackBerry's network operations centers, and end up better monetizing them by creating an "open solution" that supports Android/iOS (as the departed Jim Balsillie reportedly wanted).

Jefferies' Peter Misek once more takes an optimistic view, assigning a $15/share LBO valuation.

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