BlackBerry: As desperate as it can get

Putting all rumors to rest, BlackBerry today said it is looking at all possible means for a turnaround of the company. Yes, if we go by the official statement, the Canadian smart phone maker is exploring all possible alternatives under the sun to enhance the value of the company. “These alternatives include, among others, possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances,  a sale of the company or other possible transactions,” the statement noted.

The above statement clearly indicates there is no such option that the company would not like to explore. It shows the magnitude of its desperation. It appears as if BlackBerry has given up on its fight with the likes of Apple and Android.

To explore the possible options, the board of the directors of the company has formed a Special Committee that includes BlackBerry’s chairperson Barbara Stymiest, its CEO Thorsten Heins, former Verizon executive vice president Richard Lynch and former CEO of Sony Ericsson Bert Nordberg. The latter two were inducted to BlackBerry board as recent as February this year. The special committee will be chaired by Timothy Dattels, former investment banker and Goldman Sachs executive.

The desperation becomes all the more prominent with the resignation of Prem Watsa, CEO of Fairfax Financial, BlackBerry’s biggest investor, from the BlackBerry board.

As if that was not enough, the company in the same statement says that though BlackBerry is looking at all possible options ‘there can be no assurance that this exploration process will result in any transaction.’ Means, they are not sure if anyone would like be its partner, join with it or even buy it.  The company’s market value has gone down to this level, and it has been going down for the past few years, that too very consistently. In the fiscal FY13, the company registered a revenue dip of 40% over the previous fiscal.

The valuation of the company at the current share price would touch around $7 billion to $8 billion, few reports say. BlackBerry was valued at about $84 billion in 2008.

JP Morgan is serving as financial adviser to BlackBerry and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Torys LLP are serving as legal advisers for this new ‘exploration’ initiatives. However, the company’s apprehension of ‘no result’ is not all that baseless as BlackBerry had announced similar steps a year back without any significant progress on that front when they hired JP Morgan and RBC as their financial advisers.

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