End of BlackBerry? Company speeds up sale process

Wednesday, 4 Sep 2013 | 4:47 PM ET
CEO Thorsten Heins with the BlackBerry 10 in January.
Getty Images
CEO Thorsten Heins with the BlackBerry 10 in January.

Just when it looked like things couldn't get any bleaker for BlackBerry, they did.

The struggling handset maker is now aiming to quickly auction itself off, possibly as soon as November, according to a Dow Jones report.

BlackBerry has been in discussions with multiple parties interested in buying parts of the company or the company as a whole, the report said.

(For the full Dow Jones report, click here)

The company said in August that it was exploring "strategic alternatives" and had formed a special committee of board members. According to the report, the board has narrowed down interested parties and will begin the sales process soon.

(Read more: BlackBerry shares soar as company explores 'strategic alternatives' )

It was previously speculated that Microsoft might be keen to buy BlackBerry; however, that chance likely went out the window when Microsoft announced its $7.2 billion purchase of Nokia's mobile business, industry analysts said.

"BlackBerry isn't even on life support. They are in a much worse position—they are almost finished," said Trip Chowdhry, an analyst at Global Equities Research.

There are no suitors out there that could really benefit from all of BlackBerry's assets, though parts of its business could be valuable for nonhandset makers, analysts said.

"It's hard to think anyone would want to buy them lock, stock and barrel," said Charles Golvin, a principal analyst at Forrester Research. "I think they have components that are valuable. But I don't think they will survive as the BlackBerry we know today."

It's possible that BlackBerry could take a hint from Nokia and sell off its mobile hardware business to a smartphone manufacturer such as Lenovo or ZTE and transform itself into an enterprise software business.

But the company maker can rule out a purchase from Microsoft or Google, as both have already invested in mobile hardware components, Chowdhry said.

"I see doom and gloom for BlackBerry," he said.

By CNBC's Cadie Thompson. Follow her on Twitter @CadieThompson.

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  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

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