Jawbone, the buzzy but financially strapped maker of Up fitness bands and Jambox speakers, is close to receiving a major investment from BlackRock BLK -1.09% , the world’s largest asset manager. According to sources, BlackRock is considering investing as much as $300 million.
The San Francisco company has raised more than $400 million during its 16-year, roller-coaster existence, but its financial position has become increasingly tenuous as it has missed production deadlines and fallen behind in the markets it helped create.
Re/Code recently said Google GOOG -0.59% is considering a “strategic investment” in Jawbone, but Fortune‘s sources say Google isn’t actively considering such a move.
Neither Jawbone nor BlackRock would confirm details of the transaction, which isn’t complete and could yet fall through. Jawbone also is talking to other financial institutions. But sources close to both parties confirm the two are in advanced talks for the investment, which would constitute an eleventh-hour lifeline for Jawbone.
The company’s signature product, the Up3 fitness-tracker bracelet that includes a heart-rate monitor, has been delayed for months. Last year, Jawbone also settled a breach-of-contract lawsuit with Flextronics FLEX -0.86% , its previous contract manufacturer, which had sued to recover $20 million in delinquent payments. According to sources, Jawbone has since defaulted on a payment plan set up to satisfy the debt, which last stood at $16 million. Jawbone denied it is in arrears on its payments to Flextronics, which didn’t comment on the matter.
As it tries to raise funding to shore up its finances, Jawbone also is making changes to its star-studded board of directors. Former CEO and co-founder Alexander Asseily will...... continue reading ....
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