Leaders of two of Canada's largest institutional investors might be interested in investing in struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd., though they stopped short of suggesting they would make an offer.
Mark Wiseman, CEO of the C$188.9 billion (US$182.6 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto, said in an interview last week that the pension fund would take a “hard look” at BlackBerry as it would “any large deal in Canada or elsewhere.”
Mr. Wiseman did not specifically say CPPIB was interested in BlackBerry.
“CPPIB would look at this as they would any other asset,” said Linda Sims, CPPIB spokeswoman. She said the CPPIB had no comment about any interest in BlackBerry. Efforts to reach Mr. Wiseman were unsuccessful.
Leo de Bever, CEO at the Alberta Investment Management Co., which oversees C$70 billion in pension and other assets, said Monday in a separate interview that he would consider an investment in BlackBerry, but added, “It's early days. No one has approached us with anything that is baked.”
Denes Nemeth, spokesman for AIMCo, said, “We consider any investment that meets our risk and return profile,” but as of now there's “nothing there” on any interest in BlackBerry.
Mr. de Bever was out of the country and could not be reached for comment.
BlackBerry on Monday announced it would form a special committee to explore strategic alternatives for the company, including a possible sale of the company. Also, Prem Watsa, chairman and CEO of Fairfax Financial, BlackBerry's largest shareholder, resigned from BlackBerry's board of directors because of potential conflicts of interest as BlackBerry considers its alternatives.
J.P. Morgan Securities is financial adviser to BlackBerry.
Heidi Davidson, spokeswoman for BlackBerry, could not be immediately reached for comment.
Bloomberg contributed to this story.