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BlackBerry Will Sell Itself For $4.7 Billion

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the circle-of-business dept.

Blackberry 149

Nerval's Lobster writes "A consortium led by financial-holding company Fairfax Financial has agreed to acquire BlackBerry for $4.7 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, Fairfax Financial will acquire every BlackBerry stock-share it doesn't already own. Further details are pending, including future management structure and whether BlackBerry will continue with its stated intent to lay off thousands of employees over the next few months. 'The Special Committee is seeking the best available outcome for the Company's constituents, including for shareholders,' Barbara Stymiest, chair of BlackBerry's Board of Directors, wrote in a statement. 'Importantly, the go-shop process provides an opportunity to determine if there are alternatives superior to the present proposal from the Fairfax consortium.' A special committee formed by BlackBerry's Board of Directors had spent the past few weeks looking for a potential acquirer. BlackBerry has seen its market-share crumble as businesses and consumers embrace rivals such as Apple's iPhone and Google Android devices."

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I would sell myself for $4.7 billion. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926225)

If only I could.

Re:I would sell myself for $4.7 billion. (5, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#44926381)

Checking last years balance sheet 4.7 billion is about how much RIM has in owned property.

Re:I would sell myself for $4.7 billion. (3, Interesting)

McGruber (1417641) | about a year ago | (#44926929)

Checking last years balance sheet 4.7 billion is about how much RIM has in owned property.

Does that $4.7 billion balance sheet include the $1 billion worth of unsold phones that Blackberry is stuck with?

(As reported in the Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323308504579087471781835480.html [wsj.com] )

Re:I would sell myself for $4.7 billion. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44927533)

Does that $4.7 billion balance sheet include the $1 billion worth of unsold phones that Blackberry is stuck with?

Is that $1B MSRP or $1B in cost? If it's $1B in cost, they can release their Android port (CM preferably), put an unlocked bootloader on it, and offer them for sale at cost, and they will sell out and recover their $1B.

Re:I would sell myself for $4.7 billion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928209)

No they can't; by the time they'd have a whole different OS stable on the device, it would be three years later and the hardware would be hilariously obsolete. This is a fast-moving business, you know.

Re:I would sell myself for $4.7 billion. (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year ago | (#44929279)

Huh? It really shouldn't take 3 years to develop an Android port. Android is already out there and available, and better yet you can use the CyanogenMod version which is also freely available. The only thing that'd be a problem is getting all the drivers for the hardware, but how much of the hardware is different from other phones and doesn't already have Android drivers available from the silicon mfgrs? If they got serious about it, and hired some consultants with Android expertise, they really should be able to get something ready within 3 months.

Re:I would sell myself for $4.7 billion. (1)

spasm (79260) | about a year ago | (#44928427)

That's a liability not an asset - disposing of ewaste is expensive.

Re:I would sell myself for $4.7 billion. (4, Informative)

jratcliffe (208809) | about a year ago | (#44927797)

Looking at the balance sheet, there's about $2.8BN in cash, $900MM in inventory (figure that's basically zero now), and payables exceed receivables by about $1BN, so you're looking at a liquidation value of around $2BN. There's $2.2BN in property/plant/equipment, but it's highly unlikely you could actually get $2.2BN for that.

What took you so long? (1)

Nick (109) | about a year ago | (#44926241)

I wonder how long they really were shopping it around.

Layoffs? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926245)

Layoffs? So thousands of RIM jobs are at stake?

Re:Layoffs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926271)

I see what you did there. >_>

Re:Layoffs? (5, Insightful)

Kielistic (1273232) | about a year ago | (#44926331)

Sigh. Not only did that joke stop being funny years ago (if it ever was funny) but RIM is no longer in their name anyway.

Re:Layoffs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926359)

True. Now most of the employees will be servicing glory holes around Apple's Cupertino campus.

Re:Layoffs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926993)

You must be a real hoot at parties.

Re:Layoffs? (0)

Kielistic (1273232) | about a year ago | (#44927111)

I am actually. You might not go to many parties but believe it or not most party-goers would rather hear new and funny jokes. Not tired and unfunny ones they've already heard a million times.

Re:Layoffs? (-1, Flamebait)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | about a year ago | (#44927131)

I am actually.

Oh, you're that guy always manning the glory hole, right?

Re:Layoffs? (2, Insightful)

Kielistic (1273232) | about a year ago | (#44927287)

I'm sorry if I insulted your joke but you really should know that equating jobs at BlackBerry with "RIMjobs" isn't funny. Repeating a joke that is made at least 5 times in every thread about BlackBerry (and even more often when they were still called RIM) is not clever or funny. It is trite and lame. You do not have to resort to trying to insult me. Or propositioning me? I don't know- it wasn't very clear.

Re:Layoffs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927325)

So that was a "yes"? Sorry, I don't have time to read your whiny rant.

Re:Layoffs? (0)

Kielistic (1273232) | about a year ago | (#44927373)

The adults would like to discuss the effects of a major tech company being sold off. Please go back to commenting on YouTube.

Re:Layoffs? (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44927559)

What effects? BB has been dead for awhile, its been a zombie with a billion phones they can't sell and an OS nobody wants. Most likely these vultures will sell off the assets and keep the IP for some major trolling.

The only ones I feel sorry for is the folks on the lines, the smart ones that had skills that would translate have moved on, all that is left is the poor slobs that couldn't find other employment and in this economy? Well let us hope the evil tea party elitists don't kill foodstamps otherwise many of them will end up going hungry.

Re:Layoffs? (4, Informative)

Kielistic (1273232) | about a year ago | (#44927659)

What are you talking about? First of all BlackBerry is a Canadian company so your spiel about the tea party and foodstamps is more trite garbage.

They still have a large workforce, tonnes of patents and their own OS ecosystem. There interesting things to be discussed other than lame jokes. I know Slashdot has made lame and tired jokes into an art-form but it would be nice if it didn't fully take the place of real discussion.

Re:Layoffs? (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year ago | (#44929297)

The OS ecosystem is completely worthless; remember, the reason they're failing is because no one wants their OS, they want iOS or Android (or in rare cases, WinPhone). The only things they have that are worth anything are 1) their workforce, which isn't worth much since they're experts in a dead OS, but their hardware design teams might be valuable and maybe the software teams can be retrained for Android, and 2) their patents.

Re:Layoffs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927665)

Wow you have no social ability. I can only imagine the parties you go to...bunch of people staring at the floor, not making eye contact...such a blast!

Re:Layoffs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927149)

We don't all go to raging homo parties that have heard rim job jokes millions of times.

Re:Layoffs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927529)

It's definitely funny. You are objectively wrong.

Re:Layoffs? (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about a year ago | (#44928629)

It's still funny.
Deal with it.

Re:Layoffs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927397)

Just remember not to send a bBM before heading to your RIM job.

Re:Layoffs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927523)

Yes. This is a bad thing, on the whole.

yayyyy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926251)

go back to when you were private and cared about product/customer rather than investors and their growth projections.

Re:yayyyy (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44926369)

go back to when you were private and cared about product/customer rather than investors and their growth projections.

Much as I generally agree with you, Blackberry has been losing money at an increasing rate for some time. Privately held companies (of the real kind, not the private equity scam variety) can afford to take more of a long term view, being freed from the shackles of the self-important and absurdly overpaid idiots called stock analysts. Nevertheless, even privately held companies need some prospect of making a profit.

Re:yayyyy (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about a year ago | (#44927189)

Sure. They were sold to investors. Guess that ends that line of thought.

Consortium (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926295)

What I am most curious about is who is part of that consortium. That will be the most telling about the future of BlackBerry.

My guess is a collection of tech companies that want to keep BlackBerry's patents out of the hands of a patent troll and thus the company will be closed down, sold off in parts, and otherwise officially killed and the patents will be shared among the consortium companies and kept safe. Because, let's be honest - BlackBerry is dead - there is nothing else of significant value remaining in the company.

RIM (and Nokia) made the biggest mistake possible by ignoring the iPhone and what it represented to the entire mobile industry. Their complacency killed the company. They changed far too little, faaaaaar too late.

(Ironically, my captcha was "overtake"...)

Re:Consortium (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#44926421)

Bingo. When I read the headline, I said "4.7 BILLION??? That's crazy!!" - but for an Apple, a Microsoft, a Google, a portion of that $4.7B is cheap insurance to keep those BlackBerry patents off the street and in the hands of other Mutual Assured Destruction patent players.

Re:Consortium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926709)

too bad your captcha wasn't "dictionary". Maybe you could look up "irony" and "coincidence".

Re:Consortium (2)

Target Drone (546651) | about a year ago | (#44926967)

What I am most curious about is who is part of that consortium.

According to this [www.cbc.ca] it's Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BMO Capital Markets. It's telling how little the commpany is being sold for. The company is basically being sold for the value of it's current assets ($2.6 billion in cash reserves, patent portfolio, software, etc.). Seems like the buyer has no intention to turn the company around and get profits out in the future.

Re:Consortium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927161)

I think you misread the article. It says:

The consortium, which is reportedly seeking financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BMO Capital Markets...

The consortium doesn't include the two banks - they are using their services.

Re:Consortium (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927417)

The consortium consists of Fairfax Financial and other pariahs.

Re:Consortium (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44927509)

RIM (and Nokia) made the biggest mistake possible by ignoring the iPhone and what it represented to the entire mobile industry. Their complacency killed the company. They changed far too little, faaaaaar too late.

It's hubris. In their book The Innovator's Solution [amazon.com] , the authors describe the problem with Blackberry and outline the iPhone strategy as the way to solve it. It's literally the textbook example and they ignored it.

But I think Steve Jobs read it - "great artists steal".

Re:Consortium (1)

yankeessuck (644423) | about a year ago | (#44927595)

Probably a couple of Canadian pension funds according to the WSJ. That combination would be plenty to fund this small of a deal. They don't need to bring in tech companies unless someone overpays to lock up assets and avoid a bidding war on the open market. Thinking ahead a little, patents and real assets are pretty obvious but the brand could be interesting. A Chinese OEM might think big and buy the brand (sort of like Lenovo and IBM). Maybe a little crazier, BB might be trying to force the hand of a potential white knight but there's not a whole lot of value for a strategic buyer when they can just bid on the parts without inheriting the rest of the crap.

Apparently no "Strategic Partners" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928089)

BNN is reporting this as meaning NO tech companies are involved in the buyout.

Easy decision for the board to approve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926313)

$4B+ should go down easy, now that Microsoft has done the deal with Nokia.

Good for them, now what? A Private Blackberry being free of the Street, do they sell-off the hardware group and focus on Enterprise services?

Regardless - it seems like a graceful way to abandon the phone wars.

Prediction: (3, Interesting)

dudeman2 (88399) | about a year ago | (#44926339)

In 2 years time, watch for this news headline:

"Fairfax Financial announces a $4.6 billion writedown on the value of their BlackBerry acquisition. Layoffs are proceeding. Fairfax Financial has announced plans to sell off all corporate assets including BlackBerry's patent portfolio. A buyer has not been identified at this time."

Re:Prediction: (3, Insightful)

PoliTech (998983) | about a year ago | (#44926441)

Not to argue, but in a few weeks time I expect something more along the lines of this: "From the desk of S. Balmer: We announced some exciting news today: We have entered into an agreement to purchase Fairfax Financial’s BlackBerry Devices & Services business, which includes their smartphone and mobile phone businesses, their award-winning design team, manufacturing and assembly facilities in Canada, and teams devoted to operations, sales, marketing and support." If MS isn't doing this they are nuts (a possibility to be sure). Adding a BlackBerry acquisition to the Nokia deal would get MS to nearly 20 percent of the smartphone market.

Re:Prediction: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926545)

please explain that 20% figure. Nokia and Blackberry are single digit players in the past year.

Re:Prediction: (5, Informative)

M1FCJ (586251) | about a year ago | (#44926671)

Add two single-digit numbers, larger than 7 and you will get a value nearer to 20 than 10.
I don't think maths need explaining more than this.

Re:Prediction: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926793)

There are times when you need a FB like button. Reading your response was one of them.

Re:Prediction: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926799)

Except that neither Nokia or Blackberry have more than 3% global market share.

Re:Prediction: (2)

PoliTech (998983) | about a year ago | (#44927291)

Nokia Q2 2013 mobile market share was a bit over 14%. Symbian numbers count too, because the not-as-smart-as-a-smartphone phone business was part of the MS/Nokia deal.

Re:Prediction: (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#44927381)

Nokia Q2 2013 mobile market share was a bit over 14%.

Wrong [gartner.com] . Android and iOS have 93.2% of the global market share.

Re:Prediction: (2)

PoliTech (998983) | about a year ago | (#44927415)

Scroll down the page to the Mobile Phone numbers.

Re:Prediction: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928583)

The global smartphone share isnt close to that high.

Re:Prediction: (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#44927613)

Or maybe they are just going to concatenate the numbers:

2 + 2 = 4 but
2 ++ 2 = 22 much better.

Now show this to an MBA and see which one they'll go for.

Re:Prediction: (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#44926795)

By buying Blackberry, Microsoft will be able to drive an even larger portion of the smartphone market into the ground.

Re:Prediction: (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about a year ago | (#44927011)

Actually their share of the market is currently increasing. They have more than doubled their presence in that market in the last 12 months. Although I don't see how buying RIM would help them at this point.

Re:Prediction: (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#44927071)

Yeah, "more than doubled" to 3.3%!!! [gartner.com]

In the smartphone operating system (OS) market (see Table 2), Microsoft took over BlackBerry for the first time, taking the No. 3 spot with 3.3 percent market share in the second quarter of 2013. “While Microsoft has managed to increase share and volume in the quarter, Microsoft should continue to focus on growing interest from app developers to help grow its appeal among users,” said Mr. Gupta. Android continued to increase its lead, garnering 79 percent of the market in the second quarter.

OMG!!!!

Re:Prediction: (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#44927789)

And the reason why is obvious, instead of listening the started dictating to customers so that for every one they get they lose a dozen.

Look at me as an example, as somebody who has used and sold Windows systems since the days of 3.x I would be a prime candidate for a WinPhone, what did I get? an Android. Why? Because after the "just deal with it" bad attitude of their games division, the flipping the bird to desktop users AND refusing to port WinPhone 8 to WinPhone 7 buyers, thus leaving them with a worthless device? I'm sorry but I don't trust them not to throw me by the wayside when winPhone 9 comes out. at least with Android i can easily load a ROM myself instead of depending on the carrier or MSFT to support me.

So while they have been going up in certain markets I bet if one did the math they are product dumping to gain share but even MSFT can't afford to dump below cost forever and the bad will they keep generating is turning off more and more folks.

Re:Prediction: (1)

PoliTech (998983) | about a year ago | (#44927407)

"@Ravaldy; Although I don't see how buying RIM would help them at this point."

RIM is still a (albeit shrinking) player in the enterprise. I think a possible MS acquisition (or as others have suggested, a Blackberry "Patent buy") could go a long way toward enhancing the attraction of the Win mobile phone environment to enterprise IT.

Re:Prediction: (2)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year ago | (#44926805)

I expect something more on the lines of: "In order to protect our smartphone business, we have purchased a number of patents from Fairfax .... . The terms of the deal include a limited license back of the patents"

Re:Prediction: (3, Interesting)

McGruber (1417641) | about a year ago | (#44927053)

In 2 years time, watch for this news headline:

"Fairfax Financial announces a $4.6 billion writedown on the value of their BlackBerry acquisition. Layoffs are proceeding. Fairfax Financial has announced plans to sell off all corporate assets including BlackBerry's patent portfolio. A buyer has not been identified at this time."

The problem with this scenario is that Fairfax's Chairman and CEO Prem Watsa, who controls half of its stock. Watsa is a self-made man; he graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 1972, then migrated to Canada.

People who know a lot more about investing than I do refer to Mr. Watsa as the Canadian Warren Buffet.

Re:Prediction: (1)

dudeman2 (88399) | about a year ago | (#44928307)

Watsa may know a lot about investing, and I'm sure he has plans for the company, but I sincerely hope that restoring BlackBerry's former image/reputation/market share are not on his list. It can't be done, and you can quote me on that. Corporations are moving to BYOD on iPhone/Android, and the non-corporate market is completely lost to BlackBerry. How is Watsa going to make a profit on his investment? Selling off the corporate assets piecemeal, or selling the whole thing to a Greater Fool (sure, Ballmer would qualify..) or who knows. It'll be interesting to watch.

Re:Prediction: (1)

McGruber (1417641) | about a year ago | (#44928899)

Corporations are moving to BYOD on iPhone/Android, and the non-corporate market is completely lost to BlackBerry. How is Watsa going to make a profit on his investment?

The three leading smartphone options (Android, Apple and Microsoft/Nokia) are all controlled by US companies.

Going forward, I think many corporate and government purchasers are going to see a lot of value in standardizing on smartphones from a non-US company given all of the recent NSA revelations.

Re:Prediction: (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44927749)

I don't share your optimism that the newly-purchased business unit will last 2 more years.

Don't underestimate Fairfax or Prem Watsa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928069)

Maybe you're right. However I wouldn't underestimate Prem Watsa - widely considered the "Warren Buffet of Canada", or Fairfax who have delivered a 25% annual growth in book value for the past 25 years. You don't accomplish that making foolish investments.

Re:Prediction: (1)

msmonroe (2511262) | about a year ago | (#44928845)

You're probably right. This is a sad day, I never thought I would see this happen. This is what happens when you lose vision. They're biggest assets is probably the patents. Sounds like someones going patent trolling.. They can probably sue they're way to riches.

You FAIL 1t. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926355)

What? (1)

Sable Drakon (831800) | about a year ago | (#44926365)

I'm kinda surprised that there's anyone that actually wants to buy RIM.

Re:What? (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about a year ago | (#44926439)

They're not RIM anymore, and the purchase price seems to match the valuation of their assets. I'm as surprised by this as you are.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926451)

Never underestimate the value of RIM jobs.

Re:What? (2)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | about a year ago | (#44926537)

They own several billion in buildings, patents, factories, etc.

Even if they liquidate tomorrow, they don't lose that much.

Plus, Blackberry actually owns a few really important patents, for example, a critical patent on eliptic curve cryptography, which is the foundation off the next generation of cryptosystems.

Interesting, to say the least.

Re:What? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44928013)

that's the thing.. if they liquidate successfully tomorrow they don't lose too much.

but in that case, why the fuck bother?
and if they liquidate two years from now, they might be already in the hole for 4 billion.

so what exactly is their angle? or did these guys already own a lot of it?

Re:What? (2)

Sir or Madman (2818071) | about a year ago | (#44928283)

If we knew their "angle" we'd be rich like Watsa.

Re:What? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44927473)

I'm kinda surprised that there's anyone that actually wants to buy RIM.

It still has cache' in business and government. If they released an Android device with good e-mail navigation and "enterprise" management bolt-ons, they'd do quite well.

Re: What? (1)

Sable Drakon (831800) | about a year ago | (#44927519)

Yes, which is what they should have done years ago.

Cheap? (1)

trudslev (693655) | about a year ago | (#44926373)

I'll buy that for a dollar :D

I'll buy it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926401)

... if you give me 10 years to pay it. RIM will rise again (yes, i'll change it back to RIM)! Although meaning of the short RIM will change from Research In Motion to Robots In Motion, and there will be a change in direction a bit, but the blackberry's will be there too. Oh and the HQ will move too, sorry about that.

Prelude to a sell-off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926409)

I can only think of one reason why anyone would want to buy BlackBerry. They want full control so they can part out the companies patents and sell them off.

Everyone knows that company is dead and isn't going to make a comeback, this is a deal so Fairfax can maximize the money made from selling everything. A lost easier to streamline if there are no shareholders to get in the way.

Like how a sick animal is taken to a private farm (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#44926507)

So that it can die in peace. Blackberry's problems don't stem from it being a public company - taking it private will only shield us all from the morbid details.

Re:Like how a sick animal is taken to a private fa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926735)

So it'll probably die, but if it ever has a chance to survive, it would be private -- otherwise every time they do something, there will be a million people saying how much they suck. The only possible way out of this mess is to get off the front page.

Add it to the list (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44926559)

Atari, Commodore, Nokia, RIM/BlackBerry.

Re:Add it to the list (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926645)

You didn't even mention Palm? Fuck you asshole!

Re:Add it to the list (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926941)

That would be "Fuck you, asshole". Grammar is important.

Re:Add it to the list (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927107)

Did that make your 1" fully-erect penis feel bigger you lardass?

Re:Add it to the list (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927489)

It may be 1" long but it's 4" in diameter. The ladies call me Tuna; Tuna Can.

Re:Add it to the list (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44929213)

If it's a missing character, how do you know that they didn't mean, "Fuck your asshole!" ...?

Re:Add it to the list (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44927217)

Atari, Commodore, Palm, Nokia, RIM/Blackberry, Anonymous Coward.

Suspicous timing and content of earnings release (0)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about a year ago | (#44926651)

So just a few days after Blackberry pre-announces horrible quarterly results with a $1 Billion write down, suddenly a white knight appears to snap up the company at the post-earnings depressed stock price, for what is essentially book value. Like how Dell wasn't timid about producing horrible results while trying to take the company private for cheap. I wonder if Blackberry would have been so aggressive with their inventory write down if it didn't suit Fairfax's rationale for buying the company for nothing.

The difference between Blackberry and Nokia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44926687)

is that somebody wanted to buy Nokia

"Blackberry Will Sell Itself" (-1, Flamebait)

idontgno (624372) | about a year ago | (#44926849)

Man: Will you have sex with me for a 4.7 billion dollars?

Woman: That's a lot of money. Of course I would.

Man: How about for fifty bucks?

Woman: What kind of woman do you think I am?!?

Man: We've already established what you are. Now we're haggling over price.

Re:"Blackberry Will Sell Itself" (0)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44927441)

corporations are amoral, yo.

Re:"Blackberry Will Sell Itself" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44928821)

They also can't have sex.

Hey Canadians - Not Nortel... (5, Informative)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year ago | (#44926851)

Comparisons between Nortel and Blackberry are unfair. Although the burst of the internet bubble contributed tremendously, the nail in Nortel's coffin was fraudulent accounting and improperly booked revenue which led to the principals being criminally charged. None of this occurred with Blackberry - BB was the victim of bad corporate decisions and management reacting too late to the iPhone and Android effect. Disappointing to the extreme, but very different from the Nortel story.

Chop it up... (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year ago | (#44926885)

Fire everyone, chop it up into marketable parts, sell the hard assets for cash, license the IP through a troll. It's the MBA way.

RIP RIM (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year ago | (#44926979)

From technology leader to also ran. That's a sad thing to say from just 6 to 7 years ago when Blackberry was at the top and their shares were over $400.
This needs to go down in history as another epic fail for missed opportunities and complacent management. RIM was innovative, they pushed technology boundaries and had a rock solid platform for the enterprise. Unfortunately in a series of missteps they allowed themselves to look like fools when India and Middle Eastern countries bullied them looking for server logs and back doors by which these governments could track their citizens. Rather than erring on the side of basic human rights and telling these countries to go to hell, RIM went back and forth and depending on what articles you read either caved or gave them access to data just so they could continue to sell in those countries. So much for Security but that's only one nail in the coffin for RIM but their biggest mistake was not embracing the newer style of phones and adapting to the market. RIM could have owned this market instead of Apple but instead, RIM like so many others just let Apple move on up in terms of market share which meant that people Blackberry devices were trading them in for iPhones or Android phones.

Good move to get out of the stock market (3, Interesting)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about a year ago | (#44927045)

In all reality, this private equity firm is probably going to strip all the remaining assets from BlackBerry and kill the company, but being out of the limelight is the best thing for a company in this situation to do.

When a company is publicly traded, you can _maybe_ get it to agree to changes that pay off in 1 or 2 quarters. The stock analysts and CNBC idiots make it so that every time the CEO goes to the bathroom is scrutinized for any shred of news. Anything beyond that 2-quarter limit just can't be done. Anything that involves tough decisions that affect share price can't be done either. BlackBerry needs that kind of time out of the public eye to fix the problems they have. It's too bad also -- because we're stuck in the position of having our retirements dependent on the fickle stock market (those of us without pensions, that is.) I think that if the stock market went back to being a rich man's club, and we didn't have entire news organizations waiting to pounce on every utterance that company executives make, the funding picture for companies would be much better. Look at how much negative press BlackBerry has endured -- no matter what they do, every news outlet says "they suck." Gee, why can't we keep the share price up? Why isn't anyone ignoring the advice and investing?

I echo the sentiments of others in this thread though -- Microsoft would be stupid to not buy the patents they have, and they could even fold the secure messaging stuff into Exchange.

Escape (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44927067)

This is an escape from the American press (at the individual level) and people. It's probably too late, however.

It is clear that on virtually all topics vocal Americans - likely applies to every culture but the Americans hold disproportionate economic sway - are trapped in religious level reasoning even when discussing science and technology. Sometimes the explanation is cognitive dissonance rooting a belief or nationalism. I have often wondered whether the American press was on this three to five year non-stop feeding frenzy because of nationalism associated with Apple & Google. We will never know because 'the people' never hold the press or government to task. No matter, discussions and analyses on any topic is guaranteed to die on platforms like Slashdot.

Incidentally, I don't own any cell phone.

Can Anyone Say... (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about a year ago | (#44927297)

Nortel?

Another of Canada's former world leading tech giants bites the dust. I wonder what would have happened if RIM hadn't been blocked from buying Nortel assets. [thestar.com] Would they have been diversified enough to weather this storm, or would RIM/BB have still cratered themselves.

Re:Can Anyone Say... (1)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about a year ago | (#44927331)

Didn't Nortel have "accounting irregularities" to deal with as well?

Other than that, it sounds familiar. If I remember correctly, Nortel overextended themselves during the dotcom boom, and didn't have anything to fall back on once people stopped buying networking gear. I think IBM got most of their patents -- there's a separate company that makes network switches for their blade systems.

I think Sun did something similar also -- too much overspending in the dotcom days, then people stopped buying expensive Unix servers.

Something fishy here? (2)

mhocker (607466) | about a year ago | (#44927391)

Is it just me, or is this somewhat fishy? First, the company posts an almost billion-dollar loss on Friday then botches the BBM to iOS/Android rollout. And then once the share price is driven down to almost $8, sells itself for $9 / share.

And of course there is this: http://www.thestar.com/business/2013/08/16/blackberry_ceo_thorsten_heins_could_get_556_million_if_ousted_after_sale.html [thestar.com]

How is this legal? (1)

Anonymous Cow Nerd (1871092) | about a year ago | (#44928373)

Sounds to me like Fairfax and Blackberry negotiated a back-room deal where Blackberry would announce massive layoffs and a $1B writedown to tank the share value, paving the way for Fairfax to acquire the company at a fraction of the cost. How is that legal? Companies don't make acquisition decisions overnight, so they have been planning this for a while...

Still waiting... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44929077)

Still waiting for the headline: BlackBerry Will F*** Itself And Finally Dies.

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