Tag Archives: BlackBerry
Thorsten Heins walks the plank: shares plummet (again)
Plans by BlackBerry’s major shareholder Prem Watsa to acquire the ailing company today [4th November 2013] looked to have crashed, sending the stock plunging as CEO Thorsten Heins also resigned. Instead of acquiring the business, Watsa’s Fairfax Holdings will instead invest $250 million in convertible bonds to provide the Canadian firm with an immediate cash injection. Since Watsa announced his offer to buy the company for $9 a share, analysts have been puzzled as to why he didn’t make clear who was behind his consortium. Other mooted buyers, ranging from IBM and Google to Chinese giant Lenovo and the firm’s co-founders, seemingly have passed on acquiring the ailing business. Continue reading
The battle for BlackBerry looks set to go the wire with just two days left before its board has decide whether to go with the $4.7 billion cash offer from major stakeholder Prem Watsa, or accept a rival bid – assuming there’s one on the table.
Co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, who’ve already hinted they’d be interested, were last night [1st November 2013] reported to be forming their own consortium in which Cerberus Capital Management and US chip maker Qualcomm are included. If successful, it could resolve the doubts about the future of the company given that Watsa has yet to say where his support is coming from.
Much could hinge on Monday’s deadline [4th November 2013], with the Cerberus-backed team holding back to see if Watsa’s bid definitely materialises and, if so, on what terms. Continue reading
Deadline to decide on Prem Watsa’s offer just a few days’ away
The takeover battle for troubled Canadian smartphone pioneer, BlackBerry, has taken yet another twist, with news that social networking site Facebook could now be in the bidding. There are just two working days to go before BlackBerry’s board is meant to decide on the original $4.7 billion offer from former director Prem Watsa, though he has yet to name who else is in his consortium. Other rumoured suitors include Samsung, Google and Chinese giant Lenovo. Co-founder Mike Lazaridis and even former Apple CEO John Sculley have been mentioned. But with next Monday’s deadline [4th November 2013] fast looming, and at which point the BlackBerry board will need to decide on if to take Watsa’s $9 a share offer, the Wall Street Journal is now reporting a possible last-minute bid by Facebook. Continue reading
Asks to see books, pending possible offer to buy it outright
Chinese phone giant Lenovo has finally shown its hand in the bidding for BlackBerry, signing a non-disclosure deal to examine the books of the troubled Canadian smartphone maker. If a deal comes off it could prove the best fit yet for BlackBerry, which so far has only a relatively paltry $4.7 billion offer from Fairfax Holdings owned by former director Prem Watsa. As previously predicted by GoMo News here, Lenovo was almost certain to make a move if only because it particularly values BlackBerry’s vast software and IP portfolio and has already made overtures about buying the Toronto-based firm twice this year. Continue reading
A decision by BlackBerry to publish an open letter reassuring customers about its financial health has fuelled speculation that sales of its BlackBerry 10 devices are still in decline.
Tepid demand for its new flagship models such as the Z10 led to a 45 per cent revenue slump last quarter, prompting a near $1 billion inventory write-down, together with the announcement of a strategic review.
But it’s thought the worst has yet to come with BlackBerry seemingly desperate to convince customers about the “advantages” of its technology, such as its Querty keyboards, security features, mobile management tools and the BBM messaging service Continue reading
Britain’s City slickers are being targeted by the country’s biggest phone operator with a new service from today (14th October 2013), offering ultra high speeds with equally high security.
Among the features will be support for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 Regulated-level and voice recording, allowing traders to comply with Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules that stipulate client conversations leading to agreements must be recorded to curb market abuse.
EE’s marketing chief for business Gerry McQuade described the new features as a “complete package for financial firms,” with the operator also offering double speed 4G mobile internet as part of the service. Continue reading
BlackBerry’s founders are the latest to consider making a bid for the ailing smartphone maker, securities filings have revealed.
Former CEO Mike Lazaridis, who resigned last year after nearly three decades at the helm, and one-time vice president Douglas Fregin, are considering throwing their hat in the ring as the deadline for BlackBerry’s current board to make a decision fast approaches.
On the table at present is a $4.7 billion offer from Fairfax Holdings, led by another former director Prem Watsa. His unnamed consortium is at present examining the books of the Canadian manufacturer as part of due diligence procedures, with just three weeks to go before the BlackBerry board has to decide whether to go ahead with his offer or consider rival bids. Continue reading
Reuters news agency is reporting that several other bidders are now in talks with BlackBerry management to acquire the troubled manufacturer, with the probability that the existing $4.7 billion offer by Fairfax Financial will soon be trumped.
According to the news agency, among those now circling the Canadian firm are Google, Cisco and SAP along with Intel, LG and Samsung. Although Reuters cites sources “close to the company,” it is unclear however which parties will bid.
The potential buyers are said to be especially interested in BlackBerry’s secure server network and vast patent portfolio, but none has yet commented on the rumours.
Last month BlackBerry reported a quarterly loss of nearly $1 billion after taking a hit on unsold Z10 phones, while thousands of workers are also being laid off. Continue reading
BlackBerry’s shares received a much-needed fillip on Nasdaq last night (2nd October 2013) after reports that another potential bidder had emerged to buy the struggling manufacturer.
Although a consortium led by Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial has already been given the nod to buy the company for a tentative $4.7 billion (£2.9 billion), the Reuters news agency claimed that a rival bid may now be submitted by private equity group Cerberus Capital Management. The news sent BlackBerry’s shares up about 1 per cent, reversing an earlier 5 per cent fall.
But, at around $8, they are still well below the $9 thought to have been put on the table by Watsa, a former director of BlackBerry. Meanwhile Cerberus refused to comment, though it’s already thought to have signed a confidentiality agreement with BlackBerry giving it access to vital financial information. Continue reading
Yet more bad news for BlackBerrry. Windows Phone has overtaken it to become the most popular smartphone platform across Europe’s five biggest markets, including Britain, latest data from Kantar reveals.
In the three months up to the end of August it captured 12 per cent of the UK market, compared to 4.5 per cent the year previously, though it still has a long way to go before it catches up with the Android and Apple OS’s, which respectively account for 56.3 per cent and 27.5 per cent of the market.
Across Europe’s five biggest countries as a whole BlackBerry’s share, meanwhile, fell to 3.7 per cent from 10.1 per cent during the quarter Continue reading
Disastrous Q2 results from smartphone pioneer BlackBerry appear to have reinforced reports that the manufacturer will be pulling out of the consumer market altogether, turning its remaining resources on software and services for corporations.
Last night’s trading update (27th September 2013) revealed a massive inventory of approximately $1.2 billion in unsold phones, a staggering $965 million loss and revenues for the period barely equating to $1.6 billion – almost half of what it achieved in the previous quarter.
Much of the loss was down to unwanted Z10 phones, the latest flagship devices which BlackBerry had hoped would restore its fortunes. A further $72 million in charges related largely to layoffs, as the Canadian further slimmed down its workforce. Yet despite the eye-watering losses, there are no signs of BlackBerry’s woes easing soon. Continue reading
Argues Prem Watsa merely seeks to salvage his own 10% stake
Shares in Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry closed more than 6 per cent lower on Nasdaq last night (25th September 2013), amid concerns that a takeover plan by former director Prem Watsa is not viable. Adding to investor fears about the company is the fact that tomorrow it announces its fiscal second-quarter results, having already warned it will report a near $1 billion loss and is meanwhile planning to abandon the consumer market. The factors combined to drive BlackBerry’s share price to just short of a year low, with it closing at a little over $8. Earlier Pierre Ferragu, an industry analyst at Bernstein Research, had cast doubts over whether the $4.7 billion buyout bid tabled by a consortium led by Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial would be ever completed. Continue reading
When Canadian tycoon Prem Watsa announced last month that he was resigning from the board of BlackBerry, GoMo News rightly predicted that this could be a sign that he was planning to make a bid for the company himself. Now, with yesterday’s news confirming that BlackBerry’s directors have tentatively agreed to let him take the company private for just $4.7 billion (£2.9 billion), it remains to be seen if other shareholders feel they are being sold down the river. Prem owns 10 per cent of BlackBerry through his financial vehicle Fairfax Holdings and has been given until November 4th to conduct due diligence on the deal, though in the meantime BlackBerry will remain officially on the market to rival bids. But it begs the question why, if BlackBerry’s board is willing to sell it off so cheaply, others such as Lenovo, IBM, Microsoft – to mention just a few – aren’t piling in with their own counter offers Continue reading
Vultures are gathering..
Ailing BlackBerry could be sold within just two months, taking its cue from this week’s sale of Nokia’s mobile arm to Microsoft. That’s the claim from the Wall Street Journal, which reports that a special body of directors has already drawn up a list of potential bidders since the company announced it was up for grabs last month. It says a fast auction process is now planned, with bidders likely to include a consortium led by former director Prem Watsa – dubbed the Warren Buffet of the North – and Chinese manufacturer Lenovo. BlackBerry’s vast portfolio of patents, aligned with its secure messaging technology, could equally appeal to major mobile players. Continue reading
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has pleaded for investors to be patient, insisting that he is still on track with the company’s turnaround strategy.
At the company’s annual meeting in its home town of Waterloo, Ontario, he said BlackBerry – with the roll-out of its new operating system – was now in the second phase of a three-step plan to return to profitability, the first phase involving the streamlining of operations and cutting costs.
“This is an uphill battle but we are doing the best we can,” he told attendees, though he also admitted that the company had struggled in some cases to win over mobile phone operators and persuade them to give the new handsets shelf space in stores.
“It is a very, very competitive market . . . we are competing for carrier spots,” he said. Continue reading