BlackBerry agrees to $4.7 billion buyout with Toronto-based holding company

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Struggling Canadian smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry announced on Monday that it has agreed to a $4.7 billion deal that will see it acquired by a group led by Fairfax Financial.



The announcement came early on Monday afternoon, with shares of the company halting trading shortly thereafter. Monday's halt marks the second time in just days that BlackBerry trades have been stopped pending big news. On Friday, BlackBerry shares were halted as the company announced 4,500 new layoffs and an expected net operating loss of more than $950 million for its second quarter.

The deal as described in BlackBerry's Letter of Intent would see Fairfax Financial Holdings paying $9 per share to each BlackBerry shareholder. Fairfax already holds about 10 percent of BlackBerry.

BlackBerry expects that diligence on the deal will be complete by November 4, 2013. During that period, the firm is required to actively solicit, receive, evaluate, and negotiate with potential other suitors in case a better offer arises.

Once virtually synonymous with the idea of mobile productivity, BlackBerry was slow to react to the emergence of competition from Apple's iPhone and other devices running Google's Android operating system. The years since its peak have seen BlackBerry (n?e Research in Motion) plummeting both in terms of market share and revenue.

BlackBerry announced in August that it was officially putting itself up for sale.

Its most recent operating system update, BlackBerry OS 10, was meant to reverse this trend. The firm released two new high-end models to accompany BBOS 10, one with BlackBerry's signature physical keyboard and the other a touchscreen-only affair. Both are viewed largely as failures, and BlackBerry's share of mobile device sales has fallen below even that of Nokia, which was itself recently bought by Microsoft.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,531member
    Too little too late, oh how the mighty have fallen.

    It's a shame, BB10 OS is actually quite nice. Had it come out 2-3 years sooner they really might have stood a chance.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,807member
    The only experience I have ever had with Blackberry are the ones that grow wild in my yard and the kind I put on my toast. Ironic since it seems this Blackberry is also toast.
  • Reply 3 of 36

    Seems that amateur hour really is over. Just not in the way RIM/Blackberry originally expected.

  • Reply 4 of 36
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,286member
  • Reply 5 of 36

    Whenever I've read an article on BB, I always think back when Stevo introduced the orig. iPhone the BB executive staff and engineers did not believe the iPhone could do what Stevo said it would.

     

    Complacency.

  • Reply 6 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MikeJones View Post

     

    Seems that amateur hour really is over. Just not in the way RIM/Blackberry originally expected.


    Amateur's? They pioneered the smartphone industry.

    Maybe if their CEO had been more focused on the company and not buying the Phoenix Coyotes...

     

    Shows how important a visionary as leader is to a company. Someone who can lead through innovation.

  • Reply 7 of 36
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Happy Mac View Post

     

    Amateur's? They pioneered the smartphone industry.

    Maybe if their CEO had been more focused on the company and not buying the Phoenix Coyotes...

     

    Shows how important a visionary as leader is to a company. Someone who can lead through innovation.


     

    The pioneered the business smartphone industry, bring your own device as a growing trend ran them over.

  • Reply 8 of 36
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

     

    Whenever I've read an article on BB, I always think back when Stevo introduced the orig. iPhone the BB executive staff and engineers did not believe the iPhone could do what Stevo said it would.

     

    Complacency.


     

    Blackberry did not have the ability to compete with Apple. Once Apple set their sights on the smartphone market, Blackberry was dead.

  • Reply 9 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Happy Mac View Post

     

    Amateur's? They pioneered the smartphone industry.

    Maybe if their CEO had been more focused on the company and not buying the Phoenix Coyotes...

     

    Shows how important a visionary as leader is to a company. Someone who can lead through innovation.


     

    You're welcome. I never said they were amateurs. I was lampooning their ridiculously arrogant marketing material for their tablet that was almost as big a flop as the HP Touchpad.

  • Reply 10 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

     

     

    Blackberry did not have the ability to compete with Apple. Once Apple set their sights on the smartphone market, Blackberry was dead.


     

    Yep.

  • Reply 11 of 36

    Apple's third roadkill.

     

    But none will be as satisfying as when/if Samsung joins the club. At least, Palm, Nokia, and Blackberry had something original.

  • Reply 12 of 36
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,807member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     

    Apple's third roadkill.

     

    But none will be as satisfying as when/if Samsung joins the club.


     

    I don't see that happening anytime soon. The only way Apple will hurt Samsung is if they make a larger iPhone around 5". Once you are used to a larger display smartphone is is extremely difficult if not almost unfathomable to consider using a 4" screen again. But once Apple make a larger display Samsung would then have no where to hide and I predict their sales would drastically decrease. 

  • Reply 13 of 36
    FairFax is making an offer, but it still needs bank loans for the transaction to go forward. They're discussing financing the purchase with JP Morgan and BMO Financial, from the reports I've seen.

    What does BBRY have that would be worth purchasing for $9/share? I suppose FairFax has a plan, otherwise they wouldn't have made the offer? Maybe they're planning some kind of pyramid scheme to quickly recoup their investment by selling it off as part of CDOs?

    Is BBRY worth the parts? Are the patents worth much? Cash?

    FairFax doesn't produce anything, they don't run companies; they make their money on financial transactions. BBRY as a phone company is dead, and these guys are simply going to try to make a couple of percent on their investments by playing tax and market games. That's all the suits know.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

    Once you are used to a larger display smartphone is is extremely difficult if not almost unfathomable to consider using a 4" screen again.


     

    In fact, once you own a 9.7” screen, it’s difficult, if not almost unfathomable, to suggest that phones need to be idiotically large. <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

  • Reply 15 of 36

    Bought by an insurance company.

     

    Jeezus . . . 

  • Reply 16 of 36
    19831983 Posts: 1,225member
    What are they going to do with it?
  • Reply 17 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

     

    Apple's third roadkill.

     

    But none will be as satisfying as when/if Samsung joins the club. At least, Palm, Nokia, and Blackberry had something original.


     

    Seriously so you only want one smartphone supplier then?

  • Reply 18 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by MikeJones View Post

     

     

    You're welcome. I never said they were amateurs. I was lampooning their ridiculously arrogant marketing material for their tablet that was almost as big a flop as the HP Touchpad.


    I stand corrected.

  • Reply 19 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 1983 View Post



    What are they going to do with it?

    Sell off the assets and IP for a lot more money.

  • Reply 20 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Onit car bonnet View Post

     

     

    Seriously so you only want one smartphone supplier then?


     

    Doesn't bother me if such a situation happens purely based on the merits of the products. Not all companies deserve to exist just to exist.

     

    Now if they are driven out of business by underhanded, monopolist tactics: of course not.

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