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Aimco Pension Fund Says BlackBerry Proposals Still Not Concrete

Oct. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Alberta Investment Management Corp., the Canadian pension fund, has been approached by at least four groups, including Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., to invest in BlackBerry Ltd. though it hasn’t seen a solid business plan yet for the smartphone maker.

“There have been four or five different groups trying to do something here and nothing has gelled so far,” Leo de Bever, chief executive officer of Alberta Investment said in an interview on Business News Network television today in Toronto. “All the usual suspects on the investment side -- including my fund and other pension funds -- have been approached about this but there has been nothing concrete that would allow anybody to put money down.”

Fairfax, the Toronto-based holding and insurance company, announced Sept. 23 its offer to take the struggling smartphone maker private with a group of investors. It hasn’t announced those partners or financing details for the bid. BlackBerry co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin said this month they’re also considering a bid. Cerberus Capital Management LP, a New York-based private equity firm, also is said to be weighing an offer.

Aimco hasn’t committed capital to any of the groups as the Nov. 4 deadline for the Fairfax bid approaches, de Bever said in a separate phone interview with Bloomberg News.

“Nothing has come down to something that you can transact on,” he said in the phone interview. “As far as I know, we’re all being approached and we’re all scratching our heads and saying ’well, ok, what is the strategy?’”

Circling Around

De Bever declined to name the groups looking at BlackBerry, saying only that they are similar to Fairfax.

“No one has really committed themselves to any group because none of the people that have been circling around BlackBerry has come up with a definitive business plan,” said de Bever, who oversees the fund managing C$68.6 billion ($65.5 billion) out of Edmonton, Alberta.

Aimco isn’t discounting making an investment in the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, de Bever told the network.

“I invest money for return and I’m waiting for a good business plan to invest in any solution that might be emerging,” he said.

BlackBerry fell 1 percent to $8.23 at 3 p.m. in New York. Fairfax’s tentative bid is for $9 a share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katia Dmitrieva in Toronto at edmitrieva1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net

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