BlackBerry considers a sale, but who will buy it now?
BlackBerry’s board has formed a special committee to explore the company’s future options, which may include a sale.
The beleaguered Canadian company said it would explore “strategic alternatives” such as a joint venture, strategic partnerships or a sale of all or parts of the firm.
The committee is to be chaired by Timothy Dattels and will include CEO Thorsten Heins. The company’s biggest shareholder, FairFax Financial CEO Prem Watsa, said he would resign from the board to prevent conflicts of interest.
Will anyone be interested in BlackBerry when they’ve probably unsuccessfully explored that option
“During the past year, management and the board have been focused on launching the BlackBerry 10 platform and BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10, establishing a strong financial position, and evaluating the best approach to delivering long-term value for customers and shareholders,” said Dattels.
“Given the importance and strength of our technology, and the evolving industry and competitive landscape, we believe that now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives,” he added.
Although the move will fuel speculation around a sale, analysts have questioned whether there’ll be any takers.
“Will anyone be interested in BlackBerry when they’ve probably unsuccessfully explored that option?” said IDC analyst Francisco Jeronimo.
“BlackBerry’s statement shows the lack of interest in the company [from outsiders]. If there was any, they would be announcing a partnership or acquisition, not a sale,” he added.
Even with the launch of its updated mobile operating system, BB10, BlackBerry has struggled to return to form against Apple and Android. Despite the release of new flagship devices in the first quarter, BlackBerry OS’ share of the market fell to around 3%, down from 5% this time last year.