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Apple’s Ex-CEO Sculley Says Was Lining Up BlackBerry Bid

Nov. 6 (Bloomberg) -- John Sculley, the former Apple Inc. chief executive officer, said he and a group of investors were lining up a bid for BlackBerry Ltd. and was surprised when the company abandoned its attempt to sell itself.

“We were pretty confident that we had the funds to be able to do the deal,” Sculley, who now serves as chairman of Pivot Technology Solutions Inc., said today on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene.

Earlier this week, BlackBerry ended a review of its strategic options after the collapse of a $4.7 billion buyout deal. The smartphone maker is now raising $1 billion in convertible debt and will pursue a fresh turnaround plan under new interim Chief Executive Officer John Chen, the former chief of Sybase Inc.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. CEO Prem Watsa, who was leading the takeover bid for BlackBerry, walked away from the $4.7 billion buyout after struggling to raise financing, according to people familiar with the plan. Watsa is rejoining BlackBerry’s board and will work with Chen on a comeback strategy.

“We were pretty confident that we had the funds to be able to do the deal, but we didn’t think Prem Watsa from Fairfax was going to be able get his deal fully funded,” Sculley said. “So we decided to wait and see what happened because we thought the price might drop or there may be other bidders coming in.”

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To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Moritz in New York at smoritz6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

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