BlackBerry Has Put Up The ‘For Sale’ Sign, But Who Would Buy It?

Source: Parmy Olson / Forbes

Seven months after BlackBerry launched a new operating system, Christened itself with a new name and renewed its fight in the smartphone wars, the company is looking for a possible way out.

BlackBerry announced today that it had appointed a committee to explore strategic alternatives that included partnerships and joint ventures with other companies, or even an outright sale. The news sent its shares 10.5% higher to close at $10.78 on Monday, yet given BlackBerry’s difficulties — a $646 million loss in 2012 and a wilting share price — it is difficult to pinpoint a willing and brave-enough buyer at this point.

Wall Street has been taken by surprise before of course: Google GOOG -0.68% startled many investors in 2010 when it bought Motorola Mobility MMI NaN% for $12.5 million, as did HP when it bought Palm in 2012 for $1.2 billion.

Other potential suitors are already taken. Microsoft MSFT -1.95% has a hardware partner in the form ofNokia NOK -0.48%, following their 2011 tie-up, and Sony’s partnership with Ericsson ended last year when Sony bought out its partner for approximately $1.3 billion.

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