Blackberry shares jump on talk of a shareholder buyout

A BlackBerry Z10 on sale at an AT&T store in Chicago, Illinois
Image caption Blackberry launched the Z10 this year

Shares in smartphone maker Blackberry jumped more than 5% in New York following a report that the company is considering a major shift in strategy.

According to a Reuters report, Blackberry's management is considering taking the company private, which means buying out existing shareholders.

Going private would allow the company to reorganise its business without the pressure of shareholder scrutiny.

Blackberry has been losing money after failing to keep up with its rivals.

Last month the company's chief executive said that Blackberry was on the right and track, but needed more time to fix its problems.

If Blackberry decided to go private it would have to find partners who could raise the billions of dollars need to buy out existing shareholders.

That could prove difficult as the company has been struggling.

In its most recent quarter, Blackberry lost $84m (£54m) and expects to lose more money in the three months to the end of August.

Blackberry launched two all-new smartphones this year, the touchscreen Z10 device, followed by the Q10, with a mini keyboard favoured by many Blackberry users.

But some analysts have been disappointed by the sales of Blackberry's new phones.

Blackberry's managers will have noted the experience of computer maker Dell.

Founder Michael Dell is trying to buy out shareholders to help reorganise the firm.

But the plan resulted in a painful struggle with some shareholders accusing him and his partners of undervaluing their shares.

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