Blackberry bows to the inevitable, seeking ‘strategic alternatives’ (buyout)
Trading in Blackberry shares was briefly suspended in the lead-up to the company’s announcement that it is exploring ‘strategic alternatives’.
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 company, which once dominated the enterprise market, was extremely late moving into touchscreen phones and found itself increasingly isolated by both Bring Your Own Device policies and aggressive pitching to the corporate market by both Apple and Samsung.
In an interesting development, the press release notes Prem Watsa CEO Fairfax Financial has resigned from the board:
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.”
Perhaps this indicates that the Blackberry’s largest shareholder is at least considering a buyout.