BlackBerry's board announces it's open to selling the company

BlackBerry's board announces it's open to selling the company

Summary: The smartphone maker's shares were halted just minutes before it announced it would form a committee to explore, among others, joint ventures, partnerships and alliances, or even a sale of the company.

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TOPICS: BlackBerry
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BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins asked for patience during the company's turnaround. (Image: CNET)

BlackBerry's board announced on Monday it has formed a special committee that could ultimately lead to a sale of the company.

Just before the news was announced, the smartphone maker's shares were halted on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York.

In a statement, the committee will be tasked with "explor[ing] 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 statement added.

The board will consist of some members of senior management, including BlackBerry chairman Barbara Stymiest and chief executive Thorsten Heins.

Heins said the company will continue to focus on "reducing cost, driving efficiency and accelerating the deployment of BES 10, as well as driving adoption of BlackBerry 10 smartphones."

JP Morgan will act as financial advisor to the committee. The company said that it does not guarantee any transaction will come of this, and that this was an "exploration process."

It comes amid earlier rumbles and rumors that the smartphone maker was going private.

Sources speaking to Reuters, which first reported the story last week, claimed while no decisions had been made at the time, the firm's board was "warming" to the idea of going private in efforts to privately deal with its dwindling market position.

Shares in BlackBerry ($BBRY) were up by more than 5 percent at market close on Friday on rumors that the company's board was looking more favorably on the idea that it could drum up equity and investor support to pull itself from the stock market. 

In pre-market trading on Monday, shares were up by more than 1 percent.

In other terms, BlackBerry will now begin the process of determining whether it can go it alone in the smartphone space, or if it needs financial backing. The possibility of going private is not being ruled out in spite of a lack of direct mentioning, but also the company has to prepare investors and shareholders that it could lead to a split-up of the company and a division-by-division sell-off.

ZDNet will keep you updated with more throughout the morning.

Topic: BlackBerry

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8 comments
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  • It's a shame

    BlackBerry 10 is the most, and perhaps only, fully MDM ready smartphone on the market. BlackBerry Balance completely separates your Work and Personal profiles, disallowing any data movement across them.

    And then there's the fact that BlackBerry still has a greater worldwide market share than iPhone.
    bb_apptix
  • Private

    Michael Dell wants to take Dell private. Perhaps thats a good thing for BB as well. The stock market savages companies for no real good reason somewhat like tech blogs do.

    The fundamentals are right there's no reason why Blackberry needs to be a publicly traded stock at all.
    Home Grown IT
  • 2 years too late - Start of the Death March @ Blackberry

    About 2 years too late.

    All that is left of worth is the BES Backend, the patent war-chest and QNX division for re-sale.

    Good Mobile messaging, has made Blackberry Secure Mail pretty much irrelevant now, as it is cross-platform.
    neil.postlethwaite
  • No comparison

    Between BES and Good there's really no comparison. We have both and frankly I've yet to hear from a single user who doesn't think that BES is FAR superior. The fact that Good works at all is the only thing that can be said for it.
    harrim47
    • Horses for cources

      It's horses for courses. My Blackberry Curve 9360 is an utter pile of shit3 - buggy, unreliable, horrendous battery life, underpowered, hateful keyboard, lack of app's.

      I'd like to say a BB10 device would offer me a better experience, but stuck in the shackles of Corporate Blackberry-land, with no sight of that changing, any time soon.
      neil.postlethwaite
  • Going private works so well for Dell !!!

    BB should follow Dells example .... ha ha ha ...
    EnticingHavoc
  • Look at the book value.

    BBRY is trading sub-$10/share. The book value is close to $40/share. The company carries no debt, has positive CASH flow and has a lot of great things going for its product (and nothing bad, except that some analysts like to make stuff up to drive the stock a particular way).

    They should totally go private, slip out of the stock analysts eyes for a little while and just focus on product instead of press releases and damage control from idiotic "analyses." Then when they take back market share, they can go to an IPO at the $40/share they deserve.

    Meanwhile, is AAPL really worth ~$500/share?
    Jacob VanWagoner
  • Book value for a struggling company, is of no use.

    Value of a company is determined by a product and/or service, which consumers have a use for. BB may have some useful products and services, but, the consumer and corporate base have left the company in a desperate situation. Apple, on the other hand, whether it's worth $500 or not, still has a huge consumer, and even corporate following.

    BB's days are numbered, and it's a company that needs to recoup as much value as they can, while they can, for the investors who still have money left in the company.
    adornoe