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Blackberry Businesses

BlackBerry Abandons Sale Plans, Will Replace CEO 83

An anonymous reader writes "BlackBerry has abandoned plans to sell the company to Fairfax Holdings after the shareholder could not raise enough money. CEO Thorsten Heins is to leave the company. From the article: 'The company also said that Prem Watsa, chairman and CEO of Fairfax, will be appointed Lead Director and chair of the compensation, nomination and governance committee. Mr. Watsa had resigned from the BlackBerry board earlier this year to explore a bid for the company.'"
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BlackBerry Abandons Sale Plans, Will Replace CEO

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  • Blackberry's back! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Back on it's way to catch up to Windows phone sales! Then Apple and Android next. Everyone buy stock now now now!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Just to be pedantic: it's = "it is"; its = possessive pronoun.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        What about its'? Everybody forgets about its'

        • by Rob Riggs ( 6418 )

          What about its'? Everybody forgets about its'

          I don't always use those three letters and punctuation together in one word, but when I do, I prefer 'tis.

          Sure it is off-topic. But you have to admit that this is a far more interesting topic of discussion than the article. Blackberry. Yawn.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Blackberry/RIM has been a truly classic example of the blind _and_ stupid leading the poor unfortunate employees who haven't jumped ship yet...

    If they think putting themselves on the market and then pulling themselves from the market hasn't hurt their already brutalized image and reputation then they are truly clueless. Blackberry is dead. How much more good money are they going to throw down the toilet?...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 04, 2013 @12:06PM (#45326203)


    • by Anonymous Coward


  • FTFS vs. FTFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by HairyNevus ( 992803 ) <hairynevus&gmail,com> on Monday November 04, 2013 @12:21PM (#45326389)

    Summary: "BlackBerry has abandoned plans to sell the company to Fairfax Holdings after the shareholder could not raise enough money."

    Article: "In an interview, Mr. Watsa denied reports that Fairfax struggled to raise financing for the $4.7 billion deal. 'Over the history of Fairfax, we've never had a problem lining up financing,' he said. 'There was no question of us being able to raise money. After the due diligence period we didn't think was appropriate for [BlackBerry] to be burdened with debt.'"

    Maybe the AC knows something it's not sharing?

    • Re:FTFS vs. FTFA (Score:4, Interesting)

      by denis-The-menace ( 471988 ) on Monday November 04, 2013 @12:51PM (#45326795)

      IMO, Prem Watsa is just engineering the price of the stock down while freezing out other potential suitors with that "pays us 30cents/share if you sell to another" clause.

      Friday BBRY was at $7.77. Watsa's offer *was* to buy it at $9.00. Today he says "he changed his mind" and then 9:30am, *someone* bought 2.5% of BBRY for $6.46. And tomorrow morning it will happen again. (just watch)

      Watsa's Fairfax company is one of those predatory company that buys struggling companies, chops them up and sells the parts for more than the company was worth as a whole.

      Mark my words: He will buy BBRY sooner or later and spin off BBM at a price that will cover the purchase price of BBRY as a whole.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        BBM isn't worth X billion. Not anymore. It was before iMessage became ubiquitous for a huge % of smart phone numbers, before WhatsApp became the new BBM, before Google Talk made SMS free for countless others. BBM isn't valuable, nobody is going to pay for the service, it isn't worth X billions in ad impressions.

        • BBM isn't worth X billion. Not anymore.

          Patents anyone?

          • by Dzimas ( 547818 )
            Agreed. Watsa has a good idea what the patent portfolio is worth, and my suspicion is that he's playing a shrewd game. There are only two scenarios: (1) Blackberry pulls a rabbit out of the hat and manages to scratch out a profit as a minor player in the smartphone game, or (2) Blackberry's hardware business collapses and Watsa manages to get his hands on the company's patent portfolio as a discount.
            • What patent is worth _billions_ for maybe 10 years remaining in force?

              It's easy to extort a few million with some crap patent. But Billions? That kind of money makes it worth fighting.

              • by Dzimas ( 547818 )
                Blackberry's patents are estimated to be worth up to $3 billion. They are also part of Rockstar Constortium Inc., which purchased Nortel's portfolio of over 4000 patents for $4.5 billion in the summer of 2011, and is currently litigating against major Android handset manufacturers.
                • Any estimates from other than patent litigators?

                  4.5 billion with 10 years to run on a bunch of patents implies more then 450 million in net license fees/year.

                  • by Dzimas ( 547818 )
                    Sadly, It's not about the license fees. It's about using patent portfolios to suppress the competition.
        • before WhatsApp became the new BBM

          That's funny... WhatsApp is one of the primary spammers to fill my mailbox each day.
        • by narcc ( 412956 )

          iMessage became ubiquitous for a huge % of smart phone numbers

          This is what delusion looks like!

        • Blackberry started out as two or 3 special tricks.

          1) it was by far the best way to get corporate email in your pocket. The keyboard was a part of this, easiest way to reply.

          2) It also had BBM, which in certain places made it special for cutting down SMS costs (SMS has huge huge margins for carriers).

          3) Less important, it had excellent battery life, meaning the older phones could go days without a charge.

          Now, all of those specialties are gone.

          1) EVERYbody does corporate email. Android and iOS have closed th

    • Maybe the AC knows something it's not sharing?

      More likely its that the AC OP has a reading comprehension issue. I have lost track of how many times someone submits an article here that says basically "not X" and the submitter starts screaming "They said X! They said X!". Since Fairfax is willingly buying some debt, I'm guessing that Fairfax is telling the truth that there was no financing problem.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    With all the NSA stuff going around, Blackberry could market themselves as a phone with complete privacy for your texts. Make a few commercials with people using Android / Apple, and then cut to the NSA reading your text messages and laughing.

  • Every time I hear news about Blackberry I hear that gurgling sound the loo makes when it gets a bit too full of water; not sure if it's slowly going down or slowly coming up.

  • by Minwee ( 522556 ) <> on Monday November 04, 2013 @12:47PM (#45326737) Homepage

    It looks like Fairfax wasn't able to come up with a DVD full of dollars ($4,700,372,992) to buy the company, but fortunately Blackberry was able to sell the CEO to an unnamed bidder for one billion.

    (By the way, Thorsten? Just thought you should know. It's a cook book. Enjoy your trip.)

  • BlackBerry Abandons Sale Plans Will Replace CEO

    Random capitalization. No punctuation. 10 year olds could do better.

  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Monday November 04, 2013 @01:13PM (#45327063) Homepage Journal

    RIMJobber1: What's that flushing sound?
    RIMJobber2: Why's there swirly blue water all over the place?

  • Personally I want Black Berry to rise up as a Phoenix and fully recover. Yes the executives were very narrow sighted and poor executors, the proof is where the company is now. Many times this is the death spiral of a great many technology companies. Instead of hiring an ivy league executive as the CEO, find a passionate visionary that is hell bent on lifting Black Berry back into position. To many tech companies have died off due to the shear stupidity of the executives. So going back to the same executive
  • There was no serious bidder for the company. Fairfax's bid was a sham. And the other companies who have been reported to show interest were actually asked by BlackBerry to meet with them and the companies did so only out of courtesy (
  • ...but good luck finding another sucker willing to take his place. The USS Blackberry has been sinking for a long time now. Nothing and nobody is going to save it. Whoever takes the helm at this point will preside over the dissolution of the company, not its revival.

  • by FilmedInNoir ( 1392323 ) on Monday November 04, 2013 @02:17PM (#45327935)
    should get a chance to be CEO of BlackBerry
  • At this point, is anyone under the impression that BlackBerry has a viable business plan? It seems to me that their best option would be to liquidate; get what they can for BlackBerry's IP and the remnants of the BES service, and distribute the remaining cash to shareholders. The device business is a wounded and dying animal that at this point is just good money after bad.

    There's nothing inherently wrong with BB X, but it was too little, too late, and doesn't present anything that iOS and Android couldn't

    • And who spends not only money but huge amounts of valuable TIME developing a new OS and apps when a massively successful OS, and entire mobile software ecosystem, is immediately available to them for free?

      • BB was never going to make it as Just Another Android Handset Maker if they had tried; that requires a very different corporate culture and organization from one that tries to create something very different.

        If they had started (and finished) BB about two or three years earlier, it might have had a chance, but they spent too much time thinking iOS and Android were "consumer toys" and not worthy of their attention.

  • Blackberry is the laughing stock of companies in ontario, it's a serious face palm to think they're yet again going to try and save one of the biggest failures in Canadian history. This company has been run into the ground by three different CEO's and now a fourth will try and show us how it's done. Blackberry is not a viable phone company, they have crappy, buggy software, out of date and poorly styled hardware and just a lack of innovation at every level. Lets see one more time how bad Blackberry can
  • Blackberries have always been a local feature to North America. If they really had been good then they would have sold well elsewhere too.

    Apple did show how to make a touch-phone that sells, but now everyone else has caught up and Android is a lot more developer-friendly so there are more apps showing up there all the time. Blackberry and Windows Phone/Mobile/CE/Whatever are left behind and will have a hard time to catch up if they ever do. Phones today need not only to exist but also have a good and friend

    • They were very popular in South Africa a couple years ago. BIS was the main selling point, at the time internet costs were astronomical so being able to send as many messages as you wanted and being able to surf as much as you wanted was hugely attractive. Almost everyone had one, then costs came down, Whatsup and other messaging services started and suddenly people realised they can still have all the goodness without the crap hardware.

      I mean seriously, why the fuck does the phone take 3 minutes to b

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