A recent major investment in fitness band maker Jawbone may not have technically been an investment.
What was originally billed as a $300 million cash infusion from BlackRock [fortune-stock symbol=”BLK”], the world’s largest asset manager, may actually have been a loan, according to a Bloomberg report that cites anonymous sources as well as a recent filing.
Jawbone makes the popular Up fitness bands as well as Jambox speakers, but the 16-year-old company has struggled to take off in the growing wearable technology market. A Fortune feature story earlier this year looked at some of the issues that have plagued the company, which had raised more than $400 million prior to BlackRock’s involvement.
Now, Bloomberg calls BlackRock’s cash “something of a bailout for Jawbone,” a company that has yet to show consistent profitability. Bloomberg adds:
Flextronics, an electronics components manufacturer, sued Jawbone last year in a $21 million breach of contract lawsuit over an alleged unpaid bill. That suit was quickly settled.
Earlier this year, rumors surfaced that Google [fortune-stock symbol=”GOOG”] might make a strategic investment in Jawbone, but the search giant has yet to make such a move.
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