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BlackBerry scraps takeover strategy, ousts CEO Thorsten Heins

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Canadian device maker BlackBerry has taken itself off the market and will instead receive a $1 billion capital injection from a small group of investors, including former prospective buyer Fairfax Capital.

BlackBerry


In concert with the investment, which the company says could increase to a maximum of $1.25 billion, CEO Thorsten Heins will resign both his seat on the board of directors and his executive post. The change of plans was first reported by The Globe and Mail and later confirmed by BlackBerry.

John S. Chen will step in as executive chairman of the moribund brand and temporarily replace Heins as interim CEO. Chen is a longtime veteran of the technology industry, having led Silicon Valley data management company Sybase from 1998 until its acquisition by German software behemoth SAP in 2010.

The investment will be made in the form of convertible notes, essentially long-term IOUs that can be redeemed for shares of the company after a set period of time --?in this case seven years, with a strike price of $10 per share. BlackBerry notes the funding, if it reaches its full $1.25 billion potential, would represent nearly 20 percent of the company as it exists today.

BlackBerry has been seeking a way to right the ship for more than a year, as the increasing popularity of Apple's iPhone and devices running Google's Android have taken significant chunks out of BlackBerry's formerly dominant position in the enterprise. Heins, who was brought on in 2012 to lead the company's turnaround, presided over the disastrous rollout of the 10-series smartphones and the belated release of BlackBerry Messenger for iOS and Android.

The deal comes on the last day of the period that Fairfax, which agreed to acquire BlackBerry for $4.7 billion last month, was given to examine the company's books. Rumors that the buyout was on thin ice have been circulating seemingly since it was announced, with recent reports tipping groups including BlackBerry founder Mike Lazaridis and former Apple CEO John Sculley as potential alternative bidders.
post #2 of 40
This isn't all that surprising. It was obvious that Fairfax was doing something a bit shady in making their offer that Blackberry accepted so quickly. Then after Blackberry accepts the offer, they send out letters of inquiry to at least 6 tech companies that we know of, in effect begging them to look the company over and make offers on the company in entire, or in part. That's almost unheard of!

While some companies did sign agreements to look at Blackberry, none seemed to really be interested. It was more from curiosity. This is the end result of all that.

I don't see how this is going to help the company survive.
post #3 of 40

Oh to have had enough capital to have short sold these losers even 6 months (or 3 months) ago.

post #4 of 40
Once the reports came out initially in the Canadian media about how Fairfax had an average cost per share of $17 for Blackberry, it was obvious Fairfax was hoping to hype the stock to cash out. It was never about an investment for a viable business.

On the bright side, they got rid of Thursten Howell. What an idiot that guy is.
post #5 of 40

John Chen is a very capable, very solid player.  

post #6 of 40
Heins did nothing but super blown marketing without results. It's logical he has to quit.
post #7 of 40

Did anyone see this coming?:rolleyes:

/s

post #8 of 40
There are still lots of users out there (even Obama). Seems like someone could leverage this property.
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post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDreamworx View Post


 ... On the bright side, they got rid of Thursten Howell. What an idiot that guy is.

Coming soon, as will be reported by Fox News .... Thursten Howell and Steve Ballmer join forces to form a new computer company .... Microberry ! .... small, but tasty. You heard it here first.

See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

There are still lots of users out there (even Obama). Seems like someone could leverage this property.

This sounds like a great project for Carl Icahn ... The self appointed saviour of all companies, great and small.   /s

See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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post #11 of 40

Playtime is over! Indeed! :lol:

 

I am glad.

post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

There are still lots of users out there (even Obama). Seems like someone could leverage this property.

You mean the dude who didn't even know how to place a phone call with an iPhone? No wonder that he uses a Blackberry. They're basically feature phones for not very technologically savvy people who are stuck in the past.

post #13 of 40
Not too long ago I posted they probably had a year left. Now I'm not so sure they even have that long.

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post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

There are still lots of users out there (even Obama). Seems like someone could leverage this property.

No wonder he never has a clue about anything that's going on within his administration and our country, all his emails are being truncated due to size.

post #15 of 40

... so that they can... what, exactly?

post #16 of 40
post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechManMike View Post

No wonder he never has a clue about anything that's going on within his administration and our country, all his emails are being truncated due to size.

Stop the political crap, or you're out of here.
post #18 of 40
BBM is the new AIM service. Future for Blackberry Phones? Grim. Patents and corporate services seem to be the only revenue stream.

Apple increments product features one bite at a time...hence the logo. Want the next big thing? You're gonna have to pick another fruit from the Apple Tree.

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Apple increments product features one bite at a time...hence the logo. Want the next big thing? You're gonna have to pick another fruit from the Apple Tree.

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post #19 of 40
How soon until the fire sale?
post #20 of 40
I'd like to hear how they plan to "right the ship." Anyone got the details?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotScott View Post
 

... so that they can... what, exactly?

I'm thinking they should go into the secure device market for businesses.  Many places now are running tablet apps for cash registers, etc.  They could make dedicated, feature-rich devices catering specifically to the needs of retail businesses.  With their secure network experience, they could dominate the market.  

post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I'd like to hear how they plan to "right the ship." Anyone got the details?

They're using the underpants gnome business plan.

 

1) Oust CEO

2) ????

3) Profit!

post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I'd like to hear how they plan to "right the ship." Anyone got the details?

2) pump bilge water out of the starboard tanks to counter act the inward list as you swirl around the bowl....

post #24 of 40

I'd imagine they're going to burn through that $1 billion fairly fast. How long do they think they're going to stay afloat?

post #25 of 40

Hey everyone,

 

Just out of curiosity, is Lenovo or IBM still interested in acquiring Blackberry?  Personally, I don't see any benefit to either of them buying a company whose OS still needs more updating to compete with iOS and Android.  IBM has enough patents and are well known for having the most to where they can create and release their own mobile OS and don't have to partner with Android or Blackberry. For Lenovo to think that an acquisition of Blackberry is going to have similar benefits like their acquisition of IBM's consumer market would be very impulsive of them;  IBM gave them great hardware and software to continue that legacy, whereas an acquisition of Blackberry gives them a lot less or practically less to nothing.  The only major thing that Blackberry has to offer is BBM {Blackberry Messenger} app.  It's great to hear for Blackberry that they finally ousted Thorsten Heins for one of their reasons being the very late release of their BBM for iOS and Android.

post #26 of 40
Maybe the worth of BBRY is higher now? Given the Snowden leaks of NSA spying, there is a market for phones that can't be hacked NSA. There was an article, late 2010, in which a number of countries were forbidding BBRY from selling their phones because their countries couldn't hack into their communications.

Sounds like BBRY now could be worth a lot more than current asking price. Perhaps Merkel and Hollande would find BBRY important from Germany's and France's own security.
post #27 of 40
Yup, anyone with half a brain knows BB was dead a 18 months ago. The only hope I see for them now is to reinvent themselves as a Cirque du Soleil magic show. They appear to really have a passion for smoke and mirrors.
post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

Maybe the worth of BBRY is higher now? Given the Snowden leaks of NSA spying, there is a market for phones that can't be hacked NSA. There was an article, late 2010, in which a number of countries were forbidding BBRY from selling their phones because their countries couldn't hack into their communications.

You seemed to have then missed the followups where they then gave over the decryption keys used for BIS in order to not get banned. Also, BlackBerries are not even remotely as secure as you seem to think.

post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by macm37 View Post

Hey everyone,

Just out of curiosity, is Lenovo or IBM still interested in acquiring Blackberry?  Personally, I don't see any benefit to either of them buying a company whose OS still needs more updating to compete with iOS and Android.  IBM has enough patents and are well known for having the most to where they can create and release their own mobile OS and don't have to partner with Android or Blackberry. For Lenovo to think that an acquisition of Blackberry is going to have similar benefits like their acquisition of IBM's consumer market would be very impulsive of them;  IBM gave them great hardware and software to continue that legacy, whereas an acquisition of Blackberry gives them a lot less or practically less to nothing.  The only major thing that Blackberry has to offer is BBM {Blackberry Messenger} app.  It's great to hear for Blackberry that they finally ousted Thorsten Heins for one of their reasons being the very late release of their BBM for iOS and Android.

I dint believe they were ever interested. I think that Lenovo and others were just responding to the letters of inquiry that Blackberry sent out recently, with curiosity. Their lack of movement shows no real interest.
post #30 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

Maybe the worth of BBRY is higher now? Given the Snowden leaks of NSA spying, there is a market for phones that can't be hacked NSA. There was an article, late 2010, in which a number of countries were forbidding BBRY from selling their phones because their countries couldn't hack into their communications.

Sounds like BBRY now could be worth a lot more than current asking price. Perhaps Merkel and Hollande would find BBRY important from Germany's and France's own security.

There is no real objective worth to these companies over the value of the real assets, and the rest, if any, is in the eye of the buyer, if any. It's subjective. Since there are no buyers, what is the worth? Look at the stock price. That offers the current share value, but little else.

Sorry about the continued typos. I'm typing this on my iPad while in the dentist chair, holding the iPad up in the air.
post #31 of 40

I remember when Mr heins said earlier this year that tablets are a fad

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post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

I remember when Mr heins said earlier this year that tablets are a fad

What he meant to say was that he was a fad.
post #33 of 40
Every refresh cycle mean less and less people buying BB.
The company has no aces up its sleeve. They were a one hit wonder with their internet jog dial.
I heard their corporate security is awesome but who can't copy that.
BB is going to go the way of Palm.
Go to wikipedia and search for Palm. You'll be left in dead silence. Sold off to HP then buried.
I say buy as many different BB phones, the old ones to and keep them. Maybe they'll be collector items one day. Keep the boxes as well. Damn!
post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

How soon until the fire sale?

 

I love the smell of Blackberries in the morning. It smells like....pie.

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post #35 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJones View Post

They're using the underpants gnome business plan.

1) Oust CEO
2) ????
3) Profit!

2.) wait for a miracle.
post #36 of 40
Frankly, I liked BB7 much better than BB10. At least it was specific, to get things done. BB10 is overly complicated. A BB7, with a world class browser, and back to the buttons and trackpad is what us business users need. I'm an iPhone5 user, and have used iOS since iPhone 4, and currently have a Q10 sticking around turned off, just to update and check things. (employer supplied). It doesn't even alert audibly, or visually, when a task alarm is synced with outlook.
post #37 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

I remember when Mr heins said earlier this year that tablets are a fad

They are a fad. 2004 will be back in style, any day now.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #38 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechManMike View Post

I agree with you that they can sensor me if they want, it's their website and they can do that. I just think that it's stupid especially since my comment wasn't directed at anybody in the forum nor was it threatening in any nature. I personally believe in light moderation in consideration of the spammers whose only agenda is to spam, and some people that deliberately come on here and personally insult people. But my comment did neither, and in addition it was consistent with the topic at hand. 


I just believe that if you're going to have a comments section you have to expect that people are going to come on and say things that somebody else might not like or agree with. But that doesn't mean what the person said was offensive or meant to be offensive. We can't only have people that agree with us in life....grown-ups should be able to handle that type of thing without telling someone else that they need to change.

I'm just going to take a wild guess here. You may have been penalized for introducing politics into a politically neutral thread?

There is a forum called "Political Outsider" here where you can really let loose (within limits, of course). Just FYI. 1smile.gif

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post #39 of 40

To be honest bud I don't really think the comment was all that serious to go to another forum to post it, I wasn't dying to tell the world of AI my sentiment towards Obama lol. It was more of a shot at Blackberry than it was political. I have other sites I go to when I really want to talk politics, I come to tech sites to catch up on tech news. Thanks for the info though, I appreciate it.

post #40 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJones View Post

They're using the underpants gnome business plan.

1) Oust CEO
2) ????
3) Profit!

I don't think I'd write Blackberry off quite yet as they wouldn't be the first tech to rise from the dead. As Dilger says on occasion, "This has all happened before". 15 years ago it was Apple's obituary that was being prepped.
http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Apple-layoffs-Painful-but-necessary-3130407.php
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