Reports out of Waterloo, Canada suggest that BlackBerry is continuing to field offers for their various services and patents. BlackBerry has asked for “preliminary expressions of interest” from companies like Cisco, Intel, and Google. Even Samsung and LG are said to be interested, with BlackBerry asking that all “expressions” be submitted by the end of the week.
When shareholder Fairfax Financial made a $4.7 billion offer for BlackBerry, it was quickly accepted. The wheels of buyout in motion, many considered BlackBerry to be going private, as they vowed to retreat from the consumer space and concentrate on enterprise. While the BlackBerry we knew and tried to love is gone, their final destination(s) is still being negotiated.
With the buyout offer on the table, BlackBerry held a “Go Shop” option, which meant that they could continue to field offers from other suitors. They also retain the ability to sell divisions off piecemeal, which could be as lucrative as it is dangerous. If you have a buyer for BBM, you’d almost certainly need to line others up for the remainder of your services to avoid dipping below the initial buyout price.
For BlackBerry, it’s a race against time: their dwindling stock price certainly dampens their market value, and the process of a buyout is far from over. They are also said to be on pace to rifle through $2 billion in cash within the next 18 months, giving them a sense of urgency. BlackBerry is being advised by JPMorgan Chase and Co, as well as RBC Capital Markets.
A special committee has been formed at BlackBerry to examine all opportunities, which includes CEO Thorsten Heins and is headed by board director Timothy Dattels. In an emailed statement to Reuters, a BlackBerry Spokesperson said “The special committee, with the assistance of BlackBerry’s independent financial and legal advisors, is conducting a robust and thorough review of strategic alternatives.”