© IT World Canada

BlackBerry Ltd. is hoping to close a deal with potential buyers of the company by November this year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based smart phone maker has been talking to potential bidders and has narrowed down the list of purchasers, according to sources interviewed by the financial publication.

Among those expected to bid for the company, are the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, alternative assets management firm Bain Capital, Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd. (HKG: 0992) and other Asian technology companies, according to “people close to the process.”

Last month, BlackBerry (TSE: BB) formed a special committee to look into the companies options for its future. Among the alternatives on the table were: possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships, the sale of the company; and “other possible transactions.”

That announcement came at a time when the board was also considering taking BlackBerry privates as sales of its new Z10 and Q10 smart phones continued to slide. The company sold 6.8 million smart phones in the last quarter.

The company remains in the red. It reported an $84 million in the last quarter despite revenues being up by $3 billion.

In July, the company also laid off 250 workers in its Waterloo product testing facility as part of its ongoing turnaround strategy. BlackBerry also let go of several executives in August.

Yang Yuanging, CEO of Lenovo, declined to comment on BlackBerry in a recent interview, but said that if a possible deal is consistent with Lenovo’s strategy it will “take the opportunity.”

The latest talk of BlackBerry seeking a buyer by November also follows closely the deal signed this week by Microsoft Corp. (NASDQ: MSFT) for the purchase of troubled mobile phone maker Nokia Corp. for $7 billion.

That deal has added pressure on BlackBerry since acquiring Nokia (NYSE: NOK) makes Microsoft a more formidable competitor in the mobile space and makes a comeback by the Canadian phone maker harder, according to analysts.

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