BlackBerry’s troubles have been well documented in the press over the last few weeks. News about the company, usually bad, has been making the rounds a lot. It announced a nearly $1 billion operating loss, a significant drop in its market share and the layoff of almost 40 percent of its entire workforce. In the midst of all this, BlackBerry also received a non-binding buyout offer of $4.7 billion from Fairfax Financial. The letter of intent signed includes a “go-shop” clause, which basically means that BlackBerry is free to seek other buyers while Fairfax conducts its due diligence. Reuters reports that the Canadian manufacturer is seeking “preliminary expressions of interest” from the likes of Google, Intel, Samsung and more.
The report claims potential suitors might include Cisco, SAP and LG as well, though none of the companies mentioned have commented on this possibility as yet. It can not be said for sure right now if any of these companies will ultimately bid for BlackBerry, making a better often than Fairfax’s non-binding $9 per share offer. Analysts already believe in the possibility of Fairfax coming back with a lower bid, if BlackBerry isn’t able to attract any other buyer. The company is reportedly in talks with a complete or partial acquisition with the aforementioned companies. There is said to be interest in BlackBerry’s patent portfolio and secure server network, though a concrete dollar price is yet to be put on the value of these assets.
Recently there have been rumors that perhaps private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management might make a bid, and that RIM co-founder and former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis might also be willing to get involved. BlackBerry’s future remains shrouded in mystery, but the picture will definitely become clear once Fairfax is ready to come back after studying the company’s books. This is expected to happen around mid-November.
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