Feeds

Will BlackBerry be cherrypicked, or bought by its daddies?

Build it and and you will come ... back

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

BlackBerry cofounders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin have indicated that they are considering a bid to buy the struggling smartphone maker, even as analysts say that selling the company off in pieces may be a better deal for all concerned.

The two men made their intentions known in a regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, in which they said they were exploring "a potential joint bid to acquire the Shares of the Issuer that they do not currently own."

According to the filing, Lazaridis and Fregin each currently own around 8 per cent of BlackBerry's outstanding shares, and they have hired Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners to help them review their options for acquiring the rest.

The disclosure comes as investors grow ever more skeptical that Fairfax Holdings will be able to raise enough funds for its proposed $4.7bn buyout of the Canadian firm.

A number of companies have also expressed interest in BlackBerry, including Cisco, Google, LG, Samsung, and SAP. But according to sources cited by Bloomberg on Thursday, those suitors are only interested in parts of the company, and analysts agreed that BlackBerry is probably worth more in pieces than as a whole.

BlackBerry's patent portfolio, on its own, may be worth anywhere from $2bn to $3bn, analysts say, while its enterprise network could be worth between $550m and $1.1bn to a rival wireless carrier. The company is also sitting on around $2.6bn in cash.

One part of BlackBerry that prospective buyers probably won't be interested in, however, is its lossmaking smartphone business. BlackBerry took a $934m charge on unsold inventory of its Z10 handsets in September, and its new owners will be unlikely to risk a repeat performance. One analyst even told Bloomberg that the smartphone division "isn't considered an asset."

Lazaridis and Fregin have not said whether they would keep BlackBerry whole or sell off its parts, should they manage to raise a successful buyout bid.

BlackBerry shareholders, however, seemed encouraged by the idea of its cofounders taking control of the company. BlackBerry's stock price was up by around 1 per cent on the news, to $8.20 per share, giving it a total market capitalization of $4.21bn. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.