BlackBerry Confirms That It is Looking for a Buyer

Confirming rumors over the weekend, Canada’s BlackBerry has announced that it is now looking at a possible sale of the company.

The Board has formed a Special Committee to explore what it said are “strategic alternatives”, which is said could include possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the company or other possible transactions.

A sale would be likely to be to private equity investors, and could involve a management buyout of the company.

The Special Committee of the Board is comprised of Barbara Stymiest, Thorsten Heins, Richard Lynch and Bert Nordberg, and will be chaired by Timothy Dattels. “We believe that now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives.” said the Committee’s Chairman, Timothy Dattels.

With the announcement, Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Fairfax Financial informed the Company that he felt it was appropriate to resign due to potential conflicts that may arise during the process. Fairfax Financial is the largest BlackBerry shareholder.

Thorsten Heins, President and Chief Executive Officer of BlackBerry commented: “As the Special Committee focuses on exploring alternatives, we will be continuing with our strategy of reducing cost, driving efficiency and accelerating the deployment of BES 10.”

The company currently has a market value of around US$5 billion and also has some US$3 billion in cash and equivalents. JP Morgan Securities is serving as financial advisor to BlackBerry and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Torys are serving as legal advisors.

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