News / Economy

BlackBerry Exploring Strategic Alternatives

BlackBerry Chief Executive Thorsten Heins speaks at the company's annual meeting in Waterloo, Ontario, July 2013.BlackBerry Chief Executive Thorsten Heins speaks at the company's annual meeting in Waterloo, Ontario, July 2013.
x
BlackBerry Chief Executive Thorsten Heins speaks at the company's annual meeting in Waterloo, Ontario, July 2013.
BlackBerry Chief Executive Thorsten Heins speaks at the company's annual meeting in Waterloo, Ontario, July 2013.
Reuters
— Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry, struggling to compete in a difficult market, has set up a committee to look at options, including joint ventures, partnerships or a sale of the company.

In a statement released before the market opened on Monday, the company said board member Timothy Dattels, an investment banker and former Goldman Sachs executive, will chair the new committee, which also will include Blackberry Chief Executive Thorsten Heins.

“Given the importance and strength of our technology, and the evolving industry and competitive landscape, we believe that now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives,” Dattels said in a statement.

BlackBerry pioneered on-your-hip email with its first smart phones and email pagers. It has struggled to compete against the likes of Apple and phones using Google's Android operating system, however, and its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones have failed to gain traction.

Reuters last week quoted sources familiar with the situation as saying BlackBerry was considering going private to give it some breathing room as it works through its turnaround.

BlackBerry shares rose 9.4 percent in premarket trading.

“While a change in structure could result in a higher stock price in the near term, we do not envision any changes that would help BlackBerry reverse the significant smartphone share loss or rapid decline in service revenues,” said Tim Long, an analyst at BMO Capital markets.

Heins said he was pleased with the progress that has been made and still sees compelling long-term opportunities for the BlackBerry 10. He said the company will continue a cost-cutting drive that already has shrunk the company considerably.

Dattels is a senior partner at private equity firm TPG Capital and a former top investment banker at Goldman Sachs. His appointment to BlackBerry's board last year sparked a flurry of speculation that the company might consider a leveraged buyout or going private.

Dattels' nomination to the board came in June 2012, shortly after BlackBerry hired JPMorgan and RBC Capital Markets to help it evaluate strategies, including a possible overhaul of its business model, as well as other moves like expanding the BlackBerry platform through partnerships and licensing deals.

Fairfax Financial Chairman and Chief Executive Prem Watsa said on Monday that he would resign from the BlackBerry board due to potential conflicts of interest. Watsa said Fairfax has “no current intention” of selling its Blackberry shares.

BlackBerry's new line of devices hit store shelves this year just as the high-end smartphone segment had begun to show signs of saturation. Samsung Electronics recently reported results that fell shy of expectations, while Apple earlier this year reported its first quarterly profit decline in more than a decade.

On the mid- to low end of the market, competition is growing sharply, with Chinese manufacturers, such as Huawei Technologies and ZTE, gaining ground.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.