BlackBerry Inks Deal to Go Private

BlackBerry announced Monday afternoon that it has issued a letter of intent to sell itself to a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings.

The deal values BlackBerry at $4.7 billion and would give shareholders $9 per share. Fairfax, a company based in Canada, already owns about 10 percent of BlackBerry shares. This deal would give it all remaining shares. The consortium has six weeks to consider the deal -- time which BlackBerry could spend pursuing other suitors.

The beleaguered device maker announced Friday that it would post a loss of nearly $1 billion for the second quarter, and that it would lay off 40 percent of its workforce. (See: BlackBerry to Cut 4,500 Jobs.)

Trading of BlackBerry shares was halted at around 1:20 p.m. ET Monday in anticipation of the deal announcement. At that time, the shares were down 5.6 percent for the day to $8.23. That's on top of a 17 percent slide that followed Friday's announcement.

This is the buyout that the company formerly known as BlackBerry has been seeking to save it from bankruptcy as it has struggled to make a comeback in the mobile space. It's less clear if the deal would save any mobile play it has left. Fairfax hasn't said what it would do with the company's remaining assets, including BlackBerry Messenger, enterprise services, and IP.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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interconnect Guy 10/1/2013 | 3:28:53 PM
Re: Wazzup BlackBerry Patents - Another Hi-Tech Treasure Trove?


Sarah Thomas 9/25/2013 | 5:59:56 PM
T-Mobile quits BB sales The carriers are starting to react to BlackBerry's sale. T-Mobile says it will no longer stock BlackBerrys in store. It will still sell them online, but won't carry them in retail and certainly won't promote them any longer: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/25/us-blackberry-tmobileus-idUSBRE98O16P20130925
Sarah Thomas 9/24/2013 | 1:24:59 PM
Re: Wazzup Maybe its patents? Although those are tied pretty tightly to its devices.
sam masud 9/24/2013 | 12:11:01 PM
Re: BlackBerry release Thought you might find this interesting (it's from the Brit paper The Guardian):

Michael Genovese, of MKM Partners, estimated that BlackBerry's real value is only $7 a share. Of that, the company's services division is worth $5 a share, Genovese estimated, while the operating system is $1 and the intellectual property is worth another $1 a share.


sam masud 9/24/2013 | 10:23:00 AM
Wazzup What does Fairfax Financial know that everyone else does not know because the market is dominated by Android based phone and iPhones...with MS running a distant third. Possibly BB has assets that might be worth more than what Fairfax Financial is willing to pay for BB--meaning BlackBerry and not Brigette Bardot.
chumpchange charlie 9/23/2013 | 9:51:34 PM
Re: BlackBerry release Lazaridis and his consortium are feverishly putting their bid together. Common sense will prevail with only the Fairfax bid in tact. Fairfax will evaluate the patents and if it finds value, it will complete the purchase. WiLan will become a Fairfax patent partner and litigation will ensue. WiLan will drop lawsuits against BlackBerry. The rest of the company will be donated to U of W along with 3 junker automobiles and a couple Arise solar panels to build the next sun-racer.
@jopocop 9/23/2013 | 6:43:57 PM
BBRY The Blackbery Rise and Fall will be taught in universities as a mandatory lesson in business management.  The text or digital book for the class coud be 1000 pages.

Perhaps one major lesson to be learned is the need for partnerships or a big brother when the business is being assaulted by heavyweights.  Perhaps in 2011 or so BBRY could have found a heavyweight partner to save matters, especially the jobs and workers.  

After all, BBRY was only a smartphone company, with nothing to fall back on of import as a diversified tech business.  


What good did buying all of those patents do for them, since it appeared they never protected any patents or litigated if violated.  

The story is not over, as the new owners will be fighting some kind of salvage operation with an end result that is very dicey.
albreznick 9/23/2013 | 5:17:33 PM
Re: BB's future I think they still get sold off in pieces. The patents should still be woth a good deal. But I certainly don't see the company coming back. Sigh! All Canada mourns. 
brookseven 9/23/2013 | 5:15:17 PM
Re: BB's future Okay - those things were for spectrum.  What does BB bring to the table for a Smartphone maker?

1 - Some Smartphones that are based on a totally off the path OS.

2 - BBES.

3 - Some other crap that is duplicated all over the place.

So it would have to be someone from OUTSIDE the smartphone business.  How about Nokia?  (Just kidding).  

If MS wants to keep Windows phones going and sees BB Enterprise Servers as the way to do it, they should make something like it out of a Windows server.  But I think the desire for that service is essentially replaced (in MS's mind) by the integration of Skype and Windows Live Mail.

Maybe HP or Dell...why not do something else really silly.


DanJones 9/23/2013 | 4:18:02 PM
Re: BB's future Asset strippin' time!
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