Bleak BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) stands at a cross-roads
Over the last few days, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) has been the center of attention in the smartphone market. Everyone is aware that the company has been struggling to stay afloat for a very long time. However, it has been thrown into the spotlight again, primarily because on Monday, the company said that it is weighing various options which might even include an outright sale.
Options on the table
BBRY also announced that its biggest shareholder is stepping-down from the company board, in order to side-step any conflict in interest. The company has been a pioneering force on many fronts and is known for its email pagers and mobile mail on its very first smartphones. On Monday, the company said that it had set up a committee that will review all the options before it. This has now sparked a debate about whether the Canadian company is more valuable as a whole or if a fragmented version will be preferred by private investors and competitors.
BBRY announced that its largest shareholder, Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, is exiting the board as the company is now deciding what its further steps will be. The Globe and Mail paper in Canada said that Fairfax was in talks with private as well as equity players about taking the company private. No comments were forthcoming from Fairfax.
Apart from the company itself, potential buyers may include rival smartphone companies or loaded Canadian pension-funds. The company was once a darling of the stock market but over the years bled customers to Apple and Samsung who launched cheaper and snazzy touchscreen phones. These phones appealed to the youth segment and suited their pockets too. Before the company could really do anything about it, Android and iOS took over the Blackberry OS.
The market grapevine has it that Blackberry may eventually end up partnering with Amazon or Microsoft or even Lenovo.