Blackberry Forced to Find its own Dark Horse Saviour

by Matt Klassen on October 7, 2013

It’s a situation not even Palm found itself in during its last days, the realization that no one is interested in your once strong assets. But while its become a reality for Blackberry, its not one the company is willing to accept. Cearly unsatisfied with the current offers on the table—particularly the one tendered by the Fairfax consortium—and with a dearth of interested parties waiting in line, Blackberry has taken matters into its own hands, striking up talks with the likes of Google, Samsung, Cisco, and Intel among several others in an effort to drum up some interest for the company’s assets.

According to Reuters, Blackberry has asked for any and all preliminary expressions of interest from any other parties to be put forth by next week, and while it’s unclear whether anyone will take Blackberry up on its request, it’s clear the market is still interested in what Blackberry has to offer, particularly its secure server network and extensive patent portfolio.

Of course there’s a reason suitors aren’t kicking down Blackberry’s door to get at the company’s assets, and that’s because, as Reuters reports, that most think Blackberry is over-valued, meaning to this point the Fairfax bid to take the company private is still the most appealing from an investors standpoint, even if it means the end of Blackberry as we know it.

While the Fairfax deal presents an immediate way out for Blackberry and its investors, it may not be the ideal solution, particularly given the fact, as I’ve written before, that under the guidance of the financial consortium the only way back to profitability will be morphing Blackberry into software licensing vendor and a patent troll.

Further, as we heard recently,Fairfax is not the only firm interested in Blackberry, as others like private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP who specializes in “distressed investing” have come calling. But again, specializing in such investing means Cerberus, likeFairfax, will be looking to gain maximum equity for the remaining investors, and that means the end of Blackberry as we know it.

It’s a future that I’m sure many at Blackberry find bleak, perhaps the reason the company has started knocking on doors around the tech world trying to find another option, any option, that might let Blackberry’s legacy in the mobile world live on. To that end, Reuters has cited several unnamed sources close to the matter, stating that Blackberry “has asked for preliminary expressions of interest from potential strategic buyers” by early next week. As mentioned, those contacted include Cisco, Google, Intel, LG, Samsung, and SAP, although all have refused to comment.

Reuters also reports that Blackberry has offered to sell its assets either in full or in part to anyone on their list, in hopes that a first come first serve mentality may spur on a few companies contemplating such an acquisition to finally jump in the pool.

But how sad is Blackberry’s situation that not only is it likely to be sold for patent scraps, but that in an attempt to avoid such a fate its forced to go searching for its own dark horse saviour? In fact, it’s a situation beleaguered forerunner Palm didn’t even experience, as there were several companies interested in that struggling mobile firm during its last days.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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