Amateur hour is over: Beleaguered BlackBerry sold to Fairfax Financial-led consortium

“Struggling smartphone maker Blackberry has agreed in principle to be bought by a consortium led by Fairfax Financial for $4.7bn (£3bn),” BBC News reports. “Blackberry said in statement that Fairfax, its largest shareholder with about 10% of the stock, had offered $9 a share in cash to buy the company.”

“On Friday, Blackberry announced 4,500 jobs cuts in a bid to stem losses,” The Beeb reports. “The Canadian company said it expected to make a loss of up to $1bn after poor sales of its new handsets. In August, Blackberry said it was evaluating a possible sale.”

The Beeb reports, “Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa, Fairfax’s chairman and chief executive, said: ‘We believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for Blackberry, its customers, carriers and employees. We can deliver immediate value to shareholders, while we continue the execution of a long-term strategy in a private company with a focus on delivering superior and secure enterprise solutions to Blackberry customers around the world.'”

“Brian Colello, analyst at Morningstar, said that taking Blackberry private would allow the company to reorganise without being under the glare of Wall Street investors,” The Beeb reports. “He said: ‘Based on the company’s disastrous earnings warning on Friday, I think a deal had to happen and the sooner the better. This is probably the only out for investors and the most likely outcome. The benefit to this sort of takeover is the ability for Blackberry and the consortium to reinvent the company without public scrutiny.”

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, maybe they can sell floor wax or something.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Like Dell, this is yet another once-high-profile company that Steve Jobs & Co.’s utterly, mercilessly, remorselessly destroyed.

iPhone, killer.

Amateur hour is over.

R.I.P., Blackberry. Dead Company, Walking No More.


    1. I disagree. I think he would not have cared that much. In the smartphone market, RIM was never enough of a competitor to move Jobs outside his steadfast focus on making great products. RIM was a great phone for email. Smartphones are about a lot more than that and RIM has not yet figured that out. Jobs only really spoke out about actual competitors. RIM never was one.

    1. Something doesn’t smell right; first Blackberry announces a take-private bid from their largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holding, who owns about 10 percent of the company’s stock. The question people should ask is that is this buyout bid a serious bid or is it merely a “stalking horse bid” to either obscure another party or create a sense of urgency among strategic players? Hmmmmmm!!!

    1. He used up his allowance of 2 or so billion to blow every year… so don’t worry, 2014 will be another 2 or 3 billion before he steps off the stage…. Hopefully the replacement will continue to create ground breaking POS to blow more billions out the door every year! 😉

  1. Given fewer competition in this market, I just hope Apple doesn’t go complacent toward itself as to the point to repeat sucidal blunders like ATV update 6.0 over and over. How many new Apple costumers regretted buying and ATV this bricking week end?

    1. English as a second language.

      Look, we all speak Korean as a second or third language around here.

      Don’t be shy, tell us this FUD in your own language. We are all listening.

      1. I’m trying everyday to improve my skills on this beautiful language. Sorry for my misspell/misuse of words. And, no. No French, no Korean, no Canadian. Mexican, and I love Apple. But what a horrible ATV update!!

        1. Canadian is not a language you stupid retard. We speak English (and French) up here beyond the 49th. No wonder why the rest of the world hates you guys. Don’t complain when you get another terrorist attack in your country.

  2. “We can deliver immediate value to shareholders”.

    Er…so what about value to the consumers/users? Not too concerned about that are they. Do I smell a patent fire sale on the hearth. I can sense the Goog sifting the ashes now.

  3. Using words like “merciless”…”destroyed” etc is really a great disservice to Apple and all that it stands for.

    SJ and Apple weren’t out to destroy Blackberry. Apple simply created a great product. Market forces moved accordingly.

  4. Look at the only one surviving Billions and Billions of dollars in loses for failed products. That is why one company with a monopoly has an unfair advantage over rivals… RIM didn’t have one and relied on a one trick pony, never bothered to innovate it for years. Along comes Apple, rather than hunkering down and getting to work, the two CEO arrogantly dismissed Apple products as fairytales and ridiculed Apple and the products. RIM has no one to blame but the cocky CEO’s.

  5. Before the iPhone, there was Blackberry. I loved my Blackberry. It’s a shame. Wall St. is to blame for there myopia too because they push for the easy money for today and punish anything that isn’t of short term value. They try and do that to Apple too and everyone else, but it’s up to the CEO’s to take the heat, instead of playing with numbers to jig up the stock prices solely for their bonuses.

  6. Fairfax is an insurance company out to make a profit on this “transaction”. They very well might, there are still enough IT doofuses out there that will say “carry this thing it is best”.

    My solution to this problem was that when I was presented with a request many years ago (well before the iPhone) to carry a Blackberry by my employer was “take your pick- 1) I’m leaving that thing on my desk at. 5pm or 2) you are paying me by the hour for every minute that thing is in my car or house. ” Needless to say, my fingers have never touched a blackberry. (And many of my coworkers said the same thing and a company wide roll out was canceled AND we got cell phone subsidies- I used mine for a RAZOR and then a 3G.)

  7. I don’t get all the hate against Blackberry. True, they had a badly managed company, but if they had better CEOs, then maybe their company would have been more successful. At least they weren’t slavish copiers like Samsung or Google. I thought the Apple community was better than this. At least show some sympathy because Apple was almost in their same situation.

      1. Actually, I take that back. I forgot about what the BB CEOs said. Pure hubris. I just looked that up like minutes ago. But still, these same companies also mocked Android when it was released in Fall 2008. I read somewhere that Steve Jobs did not consider Android a threat, at the time it was released. I’m a big Apple fan, but we should be careful with how we go about this. I don’t want Apple to suffer the same fate.

    1. I agree. Despite some of the dumb things Lazaridis and/or Balsillie have said in the past, I don’t see a reason to relish in RIMM’s demise.

      On the other hand, it was fun to see Dell go down and I can’t wait to see Samsung go down.

  8. 6 years too late to capitalize on anything at RIM/BB.

    It is as if Google and Apple and others aren’t doing products for secure email.

    I do understand that Fairfax with 10% of BB stands a chance for a better return buy buying now rather than wait and see. Fairfax’s option exists just because they are already holding a losing position and a buyout might let them break even at today’s asset value on the books in the worst case.

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