BlackBerry Could be Sold Off in Fragments as Bidders Remain Skeptical of the Whole
September 16, 2013 9:50 AM
comment(s) - last by
Bidders just want the valuable patents
A few bidders are eyeballing struggling phone company
, but no one seems to want to buy the company as a whole.
According to a new report by
, bidders interested in a BlackBerry sale are more interested in buying parts of the Canadian company rather than the whole thing. Among the potential bidders include private equity firms, who see BlackBerry's current position in the mobile market as too much of a challenge to buy the entire company -- which is valued at around $5.4 billion USD.
The private equity firms and other bidders are particularly interested in BlackBerry's operating system and the patents for its keyboard. Taking BlackBerry's more valuable parts makes more sense than taking on its troublesome whole.
broke down BlackBerry's market value by $3 billion to $4.5 billion for its security-based messaging system; $2 billion to $3 billion for a collection of patents, and $3.1 billion in cash and investments. Meanwhile, the company's hardware has little to no value, and could even cost $2 billion to shut down. In total, this is clearly more than its $5.4 billion market value.
Other options for the sale include a Canadian pension fund joining an investor to buy the whole company.
Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, BlackBerry's biggest shareholder, has sought many large Canadian investment funds in hopes of taking the company private as well.
A lot of BlackBerry's troubles stem from the struggle to stay relevant in a mobile market dominated by Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy line. It launched its BlackBerry 10 (BB10) operating system and line of devices back in January as an attempt to stay competitive, but so far, it's been a flop.
Reports have said that the BB10 flagship devices --
the Z10 and the Q10
-- have failed to stir any enthusiasm in the U.S. and Canada.
Earlier this month, the company's board of directors announced the formation of a Special Committee to
explore strategic alternatives
to enhance the value and accelerate the development of BB10. The announcement came only a few days after a
that BlackBerry might go private in an attempt to fix its problems away from the public. The company was also open to a sale.
Last month, reports said that BlackBerry executives were considering
of its messaging service BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).
To make matters worse, the company
axed more than half
of its sales force last week.
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9/16/2013 3:26:21 PM
That's really the question. Are people buying Samsung phones because they're Samsung, or because they're Android? Do most people care if it's Android or not? They may not care. If Samsung gets enough apps, that could draw people away from Android.
9/16/2013 3:45:13 PM
Its probably easier than most people think.
Technically all they need is the top 50 apps and that would apply to most people out there. Really too much focus is given to the number of apps instead of the top apps people want/use in a smartphone.
I rarely go to the App store any more unless its a game because there isn't anything I can think of doing with my smartphone that the 30 or so apps I have don't do already.
Its like my PC I have maybe 20 Apps. Of them I use maybe 5 daily. About the only other thing I look for is a new game generally when steam sales come around.
9/16/2013 5:17:26 PM
The question is how many mobile platforms can the market support? Blackberry went from market leader to being trampled in just a few short years. Microsoft is making some gains in foreign markets, thanks to a super cheap handset they make virtually no profit on, but that's been slow going.
Is it really as easy as making a phone, an OS, and just having some top apps?
"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes
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