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And now for another sobering reminder of just how quickly things can change in the tech industry: BlackBerry, once the undisputed leader of the smartphone market around 2007, released a letter of intent this morning to sell itself for $4.7 billion. That's a harsh contrast compared to the news we're hearing from Apple, which witnessed its most successful launch in smartphone history with the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c.
As reported by BusinessInsider, a private investment group by the name of Fairfax Financial has offered to buy the former giant to the tune of $9 per share. If (and more likely when) the deal goes through, BlackBerry would then revert to private ownership. Fairfax is no stranger to BlackBerry, as it currently owns more than the 10 percent of the company.
It's still possible another company could acquire BlackBerry. The beleaguered smartphone maker still has a six-week due diligence period in its favor, which allows it to entertain other offers and possibly sell the company off for a better price. The due diligence period will end on November 14.
Prem Watsa, chairman and CEO of Fairfax, attempted to paint the news in a positive light in the accompanying press release: "We believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for BlackBerry, its customers, carriers and employees. We can deliver immediate value to shareholders, while we continue the execution of a long-term strategy in a private company with a focus on delivering superior and secure enterprise solutions to BlackBerry customers around the world.”
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.