Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management is reportedly considering a bid to acquire all of ailing BlackBerry.

The Bloomberg news service, citing a person close to the situation, reported Wednesday that Cerberus is in the early stages of weighing an offer and has signed an agreement with BlackBerry to gain access to its financial information for more insights.

BlackBerry and Cerberus did not comment on the report.

Cerberus sees BlackBerry as a viable business that can be turned around, even as BlackBerry reported a third-quarter loss of nearly $1 billion due to slack smartphone sales. The phone maker plans to lay off 4,500 of its 12,500 workers. Cerberus specializes in investments in distressed companies.

Last week, BlackBerry co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to take over all or part of BlackBerry, while Fairfax Financial Holdings made a preliminary offer in September to buy BlackBerry for $4.7 billion. Fairfax owns 10% of BlackBerry, while the founders own 8%.

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Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is [email protected].

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