Blackberry says it’s looking for a buyer


BlackBerry, the embattled Canada-based handset maker, today finally called a spade a spade. The company halted trading in its shares to announce what some might argue was inevitable: the company says it is now exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale or JV or other partnership.

A committee chaired by Timothy Dattels and including CEO Thorsten Heins, along with Barbara Stymiest, Richard Lynch and Bert Nordberg, has been formed to look for alternatives.

‘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 Dattels in a statement.

‘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.’ In effect, the company is basically saying ‘we tried that, and that didn’t work so now we’re calling it.’

The theory behind going private is that it can be a way of taking the company out of public scrutiny as it continues to try to restructure itself financially, and around the latest version of its mobile platfrom, BlackBerry 10.

Yes, the BB10 platform is a major step change from previous generations of its software, but it’s possibly too late to make enough of an impact in a world currently dominated by Android and iOS not just in terms of mindshare with consumers, but with developers and the rest of the ecosystem.

Indeed, so far, BB10 has not proven to be an instant home run. BlackBerry’s stock took a particularly bad tumble of nearly 30% just after its last earnings. In the quarter, which ended June 1, it reported sales of just 2.7 million BB10 devices.

Indeed, so far, BB10 has not proven to be an instant home run. BlackBerry’s stock took a particularly bad tumble of nearly 30% just after its last earnings. In the quarter, which ended June 1, it reported sales of just 2.7 million BB10 devices.

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