The playing field is set and our beloved BlackBerry is apparently weighing its options for a sale, partnership, or restructuring to privatize itself.
Last week BlackBerry announced that they hired JP Morgan to advise it. From the announcement, “During the past year, management and the Board have been focused on launching the BlackBerry 10 platform and BES 10, establishing a strong financial position, and evaluating the best approach to delivering long-term value for customers and shareholders,” said Timothy Dattels, Chairman of BlackBerry’s Special Committee of the Board. “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.”
BlackBerry is allegedly looking for a “Google-like” buyer rather than a Private Equity firm. This could dispel the rumor that past BlackBerry board member Prem Watsa would use Fairfax Financial to aid the company in going private.
Sources familiar on the matter say BlackBerry wants to strike a similar deal to the nearly $13 billion deal struck 15 months ago between Google and handset maker Motorola Mobility. “Ideally, they’d want to be put into a big technology company,” said one source.
Amazon (believed to be interested back in 2011, and possibly able to leverage BlackBerry’s NOCs to bolster AWS) a potential buyer, suggested one source.
Computer maker Dell might even be interested in buying BlackBerry, suggested a prominent Analyst who wanted to remain anonymous. “Buying a mobile operator is the only way to fill a big wide space in [Dell’s] product set,” the analyst explained, adding that the BlackBerry team could help Dell with tablets as well as technologies.
At this point, what the future may hold for BlackBerry is unclear. It’s certainly become a hot debate on Wall Street as to who might be interested in BlackBerry, if anyone at all. Though, since the company announced they’re reviewing their options with JP Morgan, the stock has shot up 27%.