Blackberry announces it is ready to 'explore strategic alternatives', options include selling the company
What does this mean? It’s basically both a public acknowledgment of the troubled state of the company and also a serious attempt to do all it takes to save BlackBerry. The Canadian company formerly known as RIM announces it is ready to seek alternatives like forming a joint venture, sales of various assets, or downright selling the company.
BlackBerry has hired J.P. Morgan to advise it on its financials and two law firms, Skadden Arps and Torys LLP in the role of legal advisers. Within the last year the company released BlackBerry 10 and the first new devices running on the new operating system, but it continues losing market share. The Canadian phone maker has lost hugely important government clients as they switch to Android and iOS.
Investors liked the news and BlackBerry shares grew over 7% to reach $10.50 apiece. The announcement does not guarantee that BlackBerry will sell its business, but the company definitely needs to try to fix its mobile business at all costs.
BlackBerry Board of Directors Announces Exploration of Strategic Alternatives
WATERLOO, ONTARIO — (Marketwired — Aug 12, 2013) — BlackBerry Limited (BBRY)(BB.TO), a world leader in the mobile communications market, today announced that the Company’s Board of Directors has formed a Special Committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment. These alternatives could include, among others, possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible transactions.
The Special Committee of the Board is comprised of Barbara Stymiest, Thorsten Heins, Richard Lynch and Bert Nordberg, and will be chaired by Timothy Dattels.
With the announcement of the Special Committee, Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Fairfax Financial informed the Company that he felt it was appropriate to resign due to potential conflicts that may arise during the process. Fairfax Financial is the largest BlackBerry shareholder. Mr. Watsa said, “I continue to be a strong supporter of the Company, the Board and Management as they move forward during this process, and Fairfax Financial has no current intention of selling its shares.”
“During the past year, management and the Board have been focused on launching the BlackBerry 10 platform and BES 10, establishing a strong financial position, and evaluating the best approach to delivering long-term value for customers and shareholders,” said Timothy Dattels, Chairman of BlackBerry’s Special Committee of the Board. “Given the importance and strength of our technology, and the evolving industry and competitive landscape, we believe that now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives.”
Thorsten Heins, President and Chief Executive Officer of BlackBerry, added, “We continue to see compelling long-term opportunities for BlackBerry 10, we have exceptional technology that customers are embracing, we have a strong balance sheet and we are pleased with the progress that has been made in our transition. As the Special Committee focuses on exploring alternatives, we will be continuing with our strategy of reducing cost, driving efficiency and accelerating the deployment of BES 10, as well as driving adoption of BlackBerry 10 smartphones, launching the multi-platform BBM social messaging service, and pursuing mobile computing opportunities by leveraging the secure and reliable BlackBerry Global Data Network.”
JP Morgan Securities LLC is serving as financial advisor to BlackBerry and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Torys LLP are serving as legal advisors.
There can be no assurance that this exploration process will result in any transaction. The Company does not currently intend to disclose further developments with respect to this process, unless and until its Board of Directors approves a specific transaction or otherwise concludes the review of strategic alternatives.
1. iamfury (Posts: 57; Member since: 07 Oct 2012)
It's a shame that a company like BB have to consider selling off as an option :(
10. msa1988 (Posts: 399; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)
I don't think this really needs an explaination? BlackBerry was once the best smart phone provider in the world. This shows what happens when you get too complaisant *cough Apple cough*. Selling the company means they failed. I am fond of this idea though. A BB keyboard running android or even iOS is very dreamy....
13. sniper1087 (Posts: 289; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)
We can complaint all we want about apple but the iphone was a game changer in the smartphone industry while other touchscreens failed to deliver the experience thanks to those resistive touchscreens... Apple release capacitive screens made a difference and from then on we been getting better stuff each time, the main thing is that we are starting to get to the limits of what smartphones can do, everything has been placed on smartphones already, what else can be added beside camera and appearance when software has everything we need? Maybe a new technology has to emerge, keeping my eye on google glass ofc we will have to see when it gets to the market.
15. msa1988 (Posts: 399; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)
I do agree with you about how Apple really set the standard for quality touch screen phones. I remember using my Droid 2 and Droid Pro and when I compared it to my sisters iPhone 4, it wasn't even close. However, Apple has made very minimal changes since those days (2011). They better be careful or phones running Windows and advanced OS of android are going to fly past and leave Apple in the dust.
29. Chaseism (Posts: 52; Member since: 08 May 2013)
You guys know how much I love Apple, but this is correct. Apple will always have a core following that will never leave them, but that's not who is up for grabs. It's the general public. Now, let's be honest, we knew that Google and phone manufacturers would close the gap on quality, but Apple didn't stay a step ahead of them as they should have.
And yes, you are correct, complacency is the reason Blackberry and Microsoft is in the place they are in. I remember reading stories where the folks at Blackberry (then RIM) refused to believe the iPhone could have great battery life with such a large screen. They balked at the thought that people would pay so much for an subsidized phone. And they are paying for that right now.
Basically, you can't get comfortable with your place at the top because everyone is fighting for your position. Apple has made huge steps since Forstall's firing. They have to continue those steps.
22. wrm2013 (Posts: 115; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)
What you fail to acknowledge is bb was too at one time
30. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 944; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)
You can expect for Microsoft to make overtures towards obtaining whatever remains of RIM/BBRY. It fits with their agenda, and I think WP8 will be better suited than either iOS or Android for corporate environments...
38. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
They should become software developers and use BBM as a launch point and expand from there.
45. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 1871; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)
So what Motorola sold themselves.
2. mariosuneo4 (banned) (Posts: 75; Member since: 07 Aug 2013)
i dont want Nokia to be Next.....
7. iamfury (Posts: 57; Member since: 07 Oct 2012)
may be your are not aware of the market situations right now, that is the only possible explanation for your refusal to accept that Nokia is on path to complete recovery.
17. Hallucinator (Posts: 337; Member since: 24 May 2010)
When I read your post, all I could hear was the AT&T guy.
11. msa1988 (Posts: 399; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)
Couldn't agree more. They're actually providing a product worth purchasing. Nokia is most certainly heading in the right direction. BB, not so much.
16. Hallucinator (Posts: 337; Member since: 24 May 2010)
Complete recovery is quite the ambitious statement. Let's not get carried away.
23. iamfury (Posts: 57; Member since: 07 Oct 2012)
NOBODY and i mean NOBODY understands why NOKIA is so stubborn to stick with WP.
the way Nokia is dedicated to WP there is no doubt in 2-3 years Nokia will be the king of WP OS hands down (still is BTW). i'll wrap up my point with one question.
in year 2016 would you prefer to buy an android 7.XXX something, or a Nokia with fully fledged windows running on it like windows 9 or 10, having same cores, architectures, apps, games as your tablet, laptop and desktop ?
I mean by that time windows ecosystem will be unified by running the exact same OS on phones and all other devices. and NOKIA will be the main face of it, just like Samsung is right now for android.
28. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
As long as W9 or W10 has tiles, then the answer is the same as it is now, NO.
31. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 944; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)
Googler: your name certainly gives the impression for having an objective and non-biased attitude towards Nokia, right?
WP8 is still young, and incomplete, but it's got a solid foundation and Nokia made the right choice for itself. BBRY on the other hand is going in a much different direction, and I suspect that it will either be purchased as a whole, or in part, by the other large players in the near future.
39. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
Uh, no. I love Nokia, and BB if you want to go there. Just because I use Google services doesn't mean I can't/won't accept other systems. I've been a die hard Windows user (since 3.11) until they derailed with tiles. I tried W8 and took it back, couldn't stand the UI and the desktop mode is a total joke and insult to people like myself who prefer the old UI. Maybe they'll realize they isolated too much of their user base and make W9 more like 7, but until then, I'm just glad older versions are still viable for now. And as long as Nokia is making WP handsets, they won't get any of my money until MS dumps the tiles. The day they do, I'll be hitting the databases/articles here to figure out what phone to buy.
41. Xtasy (Posts: 270; Member since: 13 Jan 2013)
Nokia is much closer to dying than BB is.. It's at about 4 dollars a share and barely budging.. BB keeps fluctuating and went up over 10 percent today.. The main reason people won't give BB a shot is simple.. They are DUMB. It's based on gestures so they can't figure it out and don't want to bother trying to learn something new.. A button makes it simple for the people who are slow.. When I use my Z10 on the train I always get attention.. People look at me like wtf is that, oh wait that's a BB... Truth is BB is ahead of the game but people want to be left stuck behind with yesterdays tech. BB still has a chance but it will take a long time
4. iamfury (Posts: 57; Member since: 07 Oct 2012)
Dont worry about Nokia. with them it is entirely a different story. Nokia is recovering from the fall they experienced because of the lack of a modern OS. I predict that just in 2-3 years Nokia will again be on top of the market.
14. sniper1087 (Posts: 289; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)
I hope so they had the indestructible phones back in the days and with the best signal, now is time for them to emerge and yes I have the 1020, and an HTC One as well as the S4 and iphone 5, all of them are great but the camera on the nokia is just in another league and most apps found on other systems, found a replacement on windows 8, I wish nokia would not put all their hopes in one os only, and look at alternatives like webos or even android, or even dualboot system with wp8 and android, is just nokia makes great hardware and their cameras are superb I have hopes for them.
24. iamfury (Posts: 57; Member since: 07 Oct 2012)
Nokia is not at fault by choosing WP and WP alone. it's the MS which is extremely slow in maturing their OS. i don't think WP8 is the final version of a mature OS they had in mind, i think they released it prematurely just to stay in market and i think at some level their strategy went wrong. wait for a few year, with fully matured windows experience on a Nokia built lumia with just enough apps to back 'em up, this combination (Nokia+WP or full windows if we're lucky :p ) will be unbeatable.
12. Fernandezxc (Posts: 39; Member since: 12 Mar 2012)
Nokia wont go down like BB cos they have lots of low end devices that are successfull in asia and africa .and that gives them income even though they dont have the best devices around. BB lacks that
6. sss_ddk (Posts: 58; Member since: 05 Mar 2013)
This always reminds me of the movie "Other People's Money"...And buggy whips!
19. 9thWonderful (Posts: 228; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)
I think the whole world seen this coming...
21. frustyak (Posts: 101; Member since: 08 Mar 2010)
The Titanic has hit the iceberg, and the ship is sinking.
37. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
They hit it 3 years ago, it's just taking a long time to sink.
26. darkvadervip (Posts: 260; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)
I think it's time for apple to offer them a buy out or Microsoft purchase them and nokia to make them one company.
27. Caralho (Posts: 119; Member since: 18 Jun 2012)
The iceberg is called Android.
And we all know Apple's ship is not far behind...lol.
33. jamesedward318 (Posts: 93; Member since: 25 Dec 2010)
Apple has a cruisliner that will plow thru the Iceberg. Just you wait and see.
32. jamesedward318 (Posts: 93; Member since: 25 Dec 2010)
I just feel sorry for the old boys up in Canada that they wasted money coming out with these latest handsets. Everything was kind of not in their favor starting with the constant delay of the new OS and the Alicia Keys tobacle. Rest In Peace RIM...you had a good run my friend.
42. Xtasy (Posts: 270; Member since: 13 Jan 2013)
They won't die.. I don't believe they will. many people still love BB including myself.. If they do die than I will be stocking up on BB Z10 and use that for the rest of my life lol
43. Xtasy (Posts: 270; Member since: 13 Jan 2013)
No it's the opposite.. Too much innovation that people can't keep up with. I tried teaching my parents how to use a touch screen tablet and there is so much they will learn.. BB 10 is ahead in technology but people are still behind with there home buttons
40. Arthurhkt (Posts: 72; Member since: 19 Apr 2012)
Well the only main and ONLY reason that why latest BlackBerry are not selling well on my country(Malaysia, country of BlackBerry supporter), the Price, the damn price is so freaking expensive, both Z10 and Q10 are too pricey in my country, we can get tons of better and lower price phones, honestly it is not that BlackBerry 10 is not good enough, it just too expensive. (*Note, even Apple iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia 920/925, Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and Sony Xperia Z are cheaper without subsidiary offer cheaper price than it..)