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BlackBerry Receives Takeover Bid Worth $4.7 Billion or $9/Share

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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BlackBerry has agreed to a "letter of intent" to be acquired by Fairfax Financial, in a potential deal worth $4.7 billion or $9 per share. Fairfax currently owns 10% of BlackBerry shares.

Fairfax Financial is a conglomerate holding company, somewhat like a Canadian Berkshire Hathaway. The company's primary business is insurance. Fairfax's CEO, Prem Watsa, was on the BlackBerry board of directors until he resigned from the position last month.

The deal is far from complete, with "a number of conditions" according to Bloomberg reporter Sarah Frier. The agreement includes six weeks of due diligence and, in the meantime, BlackBerry is free to look for higher bids, though Fairfax has the right to match those bids.

From The Globe and Mail:
"BlackBerry has fallen on hard times recently, but we have every confidence it will be successful again," Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa said in an interview.

[...]

Mr. Watsa said that a significant amount of the equity in the deal will come from Canada. There are no strategic players, or other technology firms, in the consortium.

"If the right strategic investor comes in we'd consider taking them as a partner in this company," Mr. Watsa said. "We're looking at any possibility for the good of the company, its customers and its employees."
As part of a larger reorganization of the company, BlackBerry said on Friday that it would layoff 40 percent of its staff, ceasing sales of devices to consumers. The company also put the imminent release of the iOS version of BlackBerry Messenger on indefinite hold because of separate technical issues with the rollout.

BlackBerry shares had been halted because of the news, but last traded at $8.23 a share. The stock traded near $15 as recently as July.

Article Link: BlackBerry Receives Takeover Bid Worth $4.7 Billion or $9/Share
 

DotCom2

macrumors 601
Feb 22, 2009
4,743
3,253
although I've never owned a Blackberry, it's sad to see a company that was well done and put out a great product go down. They just joined the party too late.
 
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Tiger8

macrumors 68020
May 23, 2011
2,479
649
although I've never owned a Blackberry, it's sad to see a company that was well done and put out a great product go down. They just joined the party too late.

Quite the contrary, one can argue that the first real smartphone is a blackberry. They started the party in more than one way.

however, the cautionary tale of Blackberry is INNOVATE or die. Apple iPhone is a disruptive technology, Blackberry resisted it thinking it will fade away (just like Windows phone 5.0 and 6.0), but it didn't. Even Android contributed to Blackberry's demise.
 
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akm3

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2007
2,252
279
They have a chance if they adopt Android, skin it to be uniquely blackberry, and pair it with some great hardware. Kind of like what Amazon has done with the Fire.

Otherwise, I just can't see any scenario where they aren't completely toast.
 
Comment

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,889
1,478
Palookaville
The equity firm could buy the assets of Palm from HP and merge them with Blackberry into a new company called BoatAnchor.
 
Comment

peterdevries

macrumors 68040
Feb 22, 2008
3,146
1,134
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
although I've never owned a Blackberry, it's sad to see a company that was well done and put out a great product go down. They just joined the party too late.

I'm forced to use their products by my employer. I personally fail to see which of their products was well done. I have owned several Blackberries and they were all crap.
 
Comment

Jschultz

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2005
878
12
Chicago, IL
although I've never owned a Blackberry, it's sad to see a company that was well done and put out a great product go down. They just joined the party too late.

It's crazy - before the iPhone, I had owned a handful of Blackberries. I remember how cool it felt to own one and ask for someone's BBM PIN.
 
Comment

Codyak

macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2012
370
127
DC
Careful MacRumors, all these non-Apple stories are gonna cause some here to have a serious fit. :rolleyes:
 
Comment

quickmac

macrumors 6502
Feb 22, 2011
261
7
although I've never owned a Blackberry, it's sad to see a company that was well done and put out a great product go down. They just joined the party too late.

This is actually really great news for Blackberry and anyone who uses a Blackberry device on a daily basis. This gets them out of the public eye for a while to focus on R&D and niche markets. This also hopefully ensures they don't get split up for patents or components and can keep going forward as a company.

I'm thinking BB will put out a few handsets but geared towards professionals and business users (although I expect at least some major carriers will keep offering them to any consumer who wants one) and focus more on their other areas such as QNX development, enterprise systems, and getting more users (across platforms) using BES.

Keeping a few handsets out there keeps their name out there and gives their niche user base incentive to keep buying BB. But they won't need to compete against Apple as much and worry that every bad sales quarter means a drop in stock and a perception they're failing. So hopefully it all works out for them, getting my Q10 soon hopefully.
 
Comment

quickmac

macrumors 6502
Feb 22, 2011
261
7
I'm forced to use their products by my employer. I personally fail to see which of their products was well done. I have owned several Blackberries and they were all crap.

Preference I suppose. I used a 9780 before I got an iPhone 4s and was back to Blackberry within 6 weeks for a 9900 model. I avoided the storm, torch, and curve which I've heard weren't Blackberry's best efforts. The 9700 and onwards were absolute beasts for communication needs. If you needed an emailing, texting, communicating in real time with good battery life type of tech, any version of BB 9700 or later was eons ahead of other devices.
 
Comment

Solomani

macrumors 601
Sep 25, 2012
4,011
8,264
Slapfish, North Carolina
Fairfax Financial is primarily an insurance company. What the hell else would they do with high-tech patents that they have ZERO clue how to use? Right. Patent trolling is the only way they will make a profit and benefit from this.
 
Comment

69650

Suspended
Mar 23, 2006
3,367
1,877
England
End of an era. They'll just break it up and sell off the component parts to the highest bidder.
 
Comment

macchiato2009

macrumors 65816
Aug 14, 2009
1,258
1
RIB Blackberry :(


this shows how a company that was worth $84 billion at its highest can sink...


Apple should innovate if they don't want to end up the same way one day...
 
Comment

peterdevries

macrumors 68040
Feb 22, 2008
3,146
1,134
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
This is actually really great news for Blackberry and anyone who uses a Blackberry device on a daily basis. This gets them out of the public eye for a while to focus on R&D and niche markets. This also hopefully ensures they don't get split up for patents or components and can keep going forward as a company.

I'm thinking BB will put out a few handsets but geared towards professionals and business users (although I expect at least some major carriers will keep offering them to any consumer who wants one) and focus more on their other areas such as QNX development, enterprise systems, and getting more users (across platforms) using BES.

Keeping a few handsets out there keeps their name out there and gives their niche user base incentive to keep buying BB. But they won't need to compete against Apple as much and worry that every bad sales quarter means a drop in stock and a perception they're failing. So hopefully it all works out for them, getting my Q10 soon hopefully.

For large corporates Blackberry is rapidly becoming a business risk. I work at a consulting company with 2000 employees and we are now switching to windows phone. The advantages of BES etc. do not compensate the increased risk that at some point BB might not be able to keep its service reliable.
 
Comment

peterdevries

macrumors 68040
Feb 22, 2008
3,146
1,134
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Preference I suppose. I used a 9780 before I got an iPhone 4s and was back to Blackberry within 6 weeks for a 9900 model. I avoided the storm, torch, and curve which I've heard weren't Blackberry's best efforts. The 9700 and onwards were absolute beasts for communication needs. If you needed an emailing, texting, communicating in real time with good battery life type of tech, any version of BB 9700 or later was eons ahead of other devices.

Agree on those points, but in my eyes it is not a complete device when it fails to deliver in browsing and apps, when the competition is well established in those fields. I have broader needs for a communication device and BB failed to address those needs.
 
Comment

quickmac

macrumors 6502
Feb 22, 2011
261
7
For large corporates Blackberry is rapidly becoming a business risk. I work at a consulting company with 2000 employees and we are now switching to windows phone. The advantages of BES etc. do not compensate the increased risk that at some point BB might not be able to keep its service reliable.

I hear you. There's so much bad press about Blackberry the past few years I can see why it's a risk to invest in running their services. Windows Phone is surprisingly a good device too.
 
Comment
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