BlackBerry Ltd., the Canadian smartphone maker, rose to the highest price in a month after Reuters reported the company is considering going private.
The stock climbed 3.9% to $9.59 at 9:40 a.m. in New York and earlier traded at $9.89, the highest level since July 9. Shares of the Waterloo, Ontario-based company had lost 22% this year through yesterday.
Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins and the board are coming around to the idea that going private would give them the leeway to fix problems out of the public view, Reuters reported, citing unidentified sources. While there is a change of tone on the board, no deal is imminent, according to the story.
The company, which released its new BlackBerry 10 lineup this year in a bid to win back market share, has suffered from lackluster demand and a fizzling stock rally. Last month, the price of its Z10 flagship touch-screen model was cut to $49.99 amid sluggish sales. The phone had originally gone on sale in the U.S. in March for $199.99 with a two-year contract.
Lisette Kwong, a spokeswoman for BlackBerry, declined to comment to Bloomberg on the report.
Before Heins became CEO in January 2012, the company held talks with private-equity firmSilver Lake about possibly going private, a person familiar with the discussions told Bloomberg News that year. The talks were preliminary and the two sides weren’t able to agree on a potential valuation, the person said.
BlackBerry has held recent discussions with Silver Lake about collaborating in enterprise computing, though the talks didn’t involve a buyout or other transaction, Reuters said.
Last month, Heins reiterated that the company was seeking partners to expand the footprint of its BlackBerry 10 operating system and help with its turnaround.
“We will do our homework and assess what we think is best for the company and then we will have discussions and they will either yield partnerships, alliances or not,” Heins told shareholders in July at BlackBerry’s annual meeting in Waterloo.