The past month and a half have been busy for BlackBerry: After agreeing to be acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited for $4.7 billion, the smartphone maker reportedly shopped itself around to several other companies in an attempt to get a better deal. Ultimately, BlackBerry ended up with a $1 billion investment from Fairfax and a new CEO. Things could have gone very differently, though, as a new report claims that several firms expressed interest in buying parts of BlackBerry but were turned away because the BlackBerry board didn’t want to break the firm up.
Sources speaking to Reuters claim that Apple, Lenovo, Microsoft and others have come to BlackBerry with proposals to buy various parts of the company, with Apple and Microsoft said to have been interested in its intellectual property. BlackBerry’s board turned those offers down, though, reporetedly because it felt that breaking the firm up wasn’t in the best interest of the shareholders because doing so could create liabilities that could drag down the value of its IP portfolio.
It’s also said that BlackBerry’s patents and other assets are so intertwined that if they could lose value if they were broken up. Finally, the board is said to have expressed concern that any deal made with a foreign company could result in a lengthy review process, which could make it more difficult to stop customers from leaving the platform.
Overall this whole BlackBerry acquisition and investment situation sounds like a messy ordeal. Clearly BlackBerry wanted to try and get as much cash for itself as possible, but most other interested parties only had their eyes on certain parts of the company. Interestingly, the sources of today’s report say that the board’s decision to reject any break-up was a result of its current situation and that it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they would be opposed to such a deal in the future. What do you think the future holds for BlackBerry? Will it be able to turn things around or will it eventually be broken up and sold for parts?
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