BlackBerry Abandons Sell-Off Plans – CEO Resigns

BlackBerry has abandoned its plans for a sell off, its CEO has resigned, and the company will seek an additional $1 billion in funding.

The company’s largest single shareholder, Fairfax Holdings had proposed a US$4.7 billion buyout of the company, but was unable to secure the necessary funding for its highly conditional offer.

Other rumored bidders also failed to materialize by the Monday deadline.

Instead, the company will raise $1 billion in fresh funding, of which a quarter will be provided by Fairfax Holdings.

The company’s CEO Thorsten Heins is also stepping down and former Sybase CEO, John Chen will serve as interim chief executive while a long term replacement is found.

Another company director, David Kerr has also resigned.

BlackBerry currently has a market value of around US$5 billion and also has some US$3 billion in cash and equivalents. The fresh funding will lift its cash to around $4 billion, giving whoever takes on the role of CEO more time to try and turn the company around.

The BlackBerry Board conducted a thorough review of strategic alternatives and pursued the course of action that it concluded is in the best interests of BlackBerry and its constituents, including its shareholders. This financing provides an immediate cash injection on terms favorable to BlackBerry, enhancing our substantial cash position.”

– Barbara Stymiest, Chair of BlackBerry’s Board.

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