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Reports: Lazaridis weighing bid for BlackBerry

  • Sources tell the NYT BlackBerry (BBRY) Mike Lazaridis has "separately approached" P-E firms Blackstone and Carlyle about a possible bid for the company he co-founded. They caution talks are preliminary.
  • The WSJ has also reported of Lazaridis' interest in a bid, but is short on details.
  • Lazaridis was BlackBerry's co-CEO (along with Jim Balsillie) until last year, and still owns a sizable minority stake that could help facilitate a deal. Some of the remarks he made during his tenure (e.g. "There will never be a BlackBerry with an MP3 player or camera.") wound up being infamous.
  • Yesterday's giant FQ2 warning and layoff announcement could allow Lazaridis to obtain a lower price, but it might also make P-E support harder to come by.
Comments (42)
  • alext1379
    , contributor
    Comments (706) | Send Message
     
    As I said last week last week, buy PUTS as insurance if you own shares and make money if you don't. After the earnings collapse, buy CALLS to cover yourself if an eventual bid comes along. My error is crash came a week too soon.

     

    Made some good scratch though, bought $20 Oct19 PUTS week before and sold them for $90. Just need to see if we get another crash to make $10 CALLs for Jan2014 super cheap.
    21 Sep 2013, 04:28 PM Reply Like
  • Timmy123
    , contributor
    Comments (110) | Send Message
     
    Can you short a stock on the TSX? Just asking. If not, BBRY can just delist from NASDAQ and only sell on the TSX.
    Looks like you can but I still think they should delist from NASDAQ and lower their profile.
    21 Sep 2013, 04:35 PM Reply Like
  • Dampflok
    , contributor
    Comments (787) | Send Message
     
    Be careful what you wish for, being listed on NASDAQ at least has some minimum requirements in terms of disclosures, stock price, capitalization in protection of US share holders.. With all those shenanigans that were supposedly going on, at least if you follow the lamentations of the under water longs, you want all the protection you can get by the SROs. On the other hand if things continue on this trajectory, they might get expelled soon enough.
    21 Sep 2013, 05:00 PM Reply Like
  • Christopher Wallace
    , contributor
    Comments (1023) | Send Message
     
    You can short on the TSX, but you have to be able to borrow the stock to do so. That becomes a very big but.
    21 Sep 2013, 08:25 PM Reply Like
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (1986) | Send Message
     
    don't like this news as it appears the company doesn't have anything solid yet in the way of offers, or if they do, that the offers must not be very good if Mike thinks he can make a better bid.
    21 Sep 2013, 04:44 PM Reply Like
  • Dampflok
    , contributor
    Comments (787) | Send Message
     
    agreed, And, having been part of the problem, how good would it be to have him now as part of the solution? This is all a bunch of self dealing insiders against whom the individual stock holder at large doesn't stand a chance. As Johnny Carson used to say: bend over....
    21 Sep 2013, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (2492) | Send Message
     
    No kidding. Hope they pull it off but not a good sign when former employees or CEOs are making bids. Expect that one to remain very volatile with an emphasis on the down direction. Sharks are circling this one for sure
    21 Sep 2013, 05:42 PM Reply Like
  • cpuiulet
    , contributor
    Comments (10) | Send Message
     
    Blackberry is not going anywhere. The stock may go up and down because deals are made behind closed doors. I don't buy into BlackBerry's early earnings release is part of some master plan to get BlackBerry în the hands of some private investor for cheap. Plus, how can they have sold less phones the second quarter when BlackBerry data traffic shows quite an upward trend. Something is fishy. There's some fuzzy math going on there. I love my Q10 and I know a lot of people love their new BlackBerry phones with the sweet OS10. They are not going anywhere.
    22 Sep 2013, 10:54 PM Reply Like
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (1986) | Send Message
     
    you said it cpu. you said it.
    22 Sep 2013, 10:59 PM Reply Like
  • Tufenk
    , contributor
    Comments (961) | Send Message
     
    The only one going anywhere is the CEO. From WSJ : By
    WILL CONNORS
    And
    MARK MAREMONT

     

    CONNECT

     

    WATERLOO, Ontario—Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd., BB.T -16.08%which on Friday said it was set to post a loss of almost $1 billion for the quarter ended Aug. 31 and slash 40% of its workforce, only two months ago added a larger plane to its corporate-jet fleet.

     

    The company purchased a 2006 Bombardier BBD.B.T -0.63% Global Express in July, according to Canadian aircraft-registry records. Although the price it paid for the jet couldn't be learned, similar planes are listed for sale for about $25 million to $29 million on a used-aircraft marketing website.

     

    Less than a year ago, beset by slumping sales, BlackBerry sold one of its three corporate jets to cut costs. The sale left it with two Dassault Falcon jets that it had purchased several years earlier.

     

    BlackBerry said Sunday that it acquired the used Global Express in July, but added that it now plans to sell its entire corporate-jet fleet due to its current financial straits.

     

    "Earlier this year the company decided to sell both [Dassault] planes and replace them with one longer-range aircraft," company spokesman Adam Emery said in a statement. "The company considered several options and selected a used Bombardier aircraft, which was eventually delivered in July," he said.

     

    Social-media posts indicate the older Dassault jets were spotted in Europe as recently as early this month, including on a flight to Marseille, France.

     

    Mr. Emery said he wasn't sure when the two older jets were last used, but said he didn't "believe they have been flown since we took delivery of the newer used jet."

     

    The new business jet, manufactured by Bombardier Inc. of Canada, is considerably larger than the jet BlackBerry sold last year, and can fly from New York to Tokyo without refueling.

     

    "In light of the company's current business condition," Mr. Emery said, "the company has decided to sell that aircraft along with the two legacy aircraft and will no longer own any planes."

     

    BlackBerry also said Friday that it would seek to cut operating costs by 50% after sales of its latest line of phones flopped. The company will write down nearly $1 billion in unsold phone inventory in the latest quarter.
    23 Sep 2013, 01:14 AM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (2318) | Send Message
     
    Never leave the kids with the credit card. Who knows what kind of crazy toys they believe they'll deserve?
    23 Sep 2013, 01:30 AM Reply Like
  • Frontier_Freddy
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    I'm hoping he can take it private and sit quite for awhile. Then when he is ready come out with the quantum phone the next true morphing of both computing and cell tech. Good like Mike. I will buy one of each.
    21 Sep 2013, 05:29 PM Reply Like
  • alext1379
    , contributor
    Comments (706) | Send Message
     
    SP will rise Mon/Tue then tank Friday when BlackBerry repeats it's writedown and manipulators trigger stoplosses.

     

    My advice to anyone holding long with a loss is to wait for PUTS to match your losses before excercising. Buy short term PUTS for after earnings simply as insurance.
    21 Sep 2013, 06:15 PM Reply Like
  • DC_Zee
    , contributor
    Comments (126) | Send Message
     
    Having Mike back in the driver seat would be interesting. He appointed Thorsten CEO, and he is friends with deep pocket Premier Watsa, and he is very connected to advance technology.
    I think Mike and Premier will take it private. They will hunker down until the waves settle, and then head out into uncharted waters.
    Sounds complicated, when all they need to do is make their Android Player run Google Play apps right off the download.
    Being Android capable would add a lot of value to BB10.
    21 Sep 2013, 06:17 PM Reply Like
  • LoganSix
    , contributor
    Comments (286) | Send Message
     
    Do you think Google would allow that? It wouldn't seem to be in their best interest. But, on the other hand, all Google cares about is Ad money.
    21 Sep 2013, 09:29 PM Reply Like
  • SoldHigh
    , contributor
    Comments (995) | Send Message
     
    Thus far, playing BBRY for a buy out hasn't paid-off too well
    21 Sep 2013, 06:40 PM Reply Like
  • Prudent Finances
    , contributor
    Comments (174) | Send Message
     
    It was trading in the high 8s before all the takeover talk, so its right back where it started.
    21 Sep 2013, 08:11 PM Reply Like
  • pokernut
    , contributor
    Comments (66) | Send Message
     
    BBRY is worth no more than $6.
    21 Sep 2013, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Bryant
    , contributor
    Comments (5350) | Send Message
     
    That means that selling (BBRY) around $9.50 was a good idea. I hope so, but I found not to hope too much.

     

    Looks similar to Michael Dell's bid for (DELL). I would say bid for (BBRY) will be no higher than $10.
    21 Sep 2013, 09:30 PM Reply Like
  • champ1
    , contributor
    Comments (81) | Send Message
     
    Not necessarily true. Certainly differing opinions on how much BBRY is worth, most have been in the range of $10+ to $15+. A few have been lower and a few have been higher. Who knows what a bidding war of taking it private could bring. Most did not think Dell would get what they received. Never say never. Anything is possible in this casino.
    21 Sep 2013, 07:28 PM Reply Like
  • Tufenk
    , contributor
    Comments (961) | Send Message
     
    TH and Alfred E. http://seekingalpha.co...
    21 Sep 2013, 09:07 PM Reply Like
  • docgastro
    , contributor
    Comments (31) | Send Message
     
    BB is not worth more than $5. Did you see their attempted launch of BBM for android and iOS. Its halted (just like their stock was) because they couldn't iron out the bugs when more than anticipated users signed up!! Typical of BB...tout & shout for months on end and when it comes time to deliver....no info, complete silence. For a communications company, not communicating is the norm....and people still say they never thought this would happen
    22 Sep 2013, 12:16 AM Reply Like
  • Ben Learner
    , contributor
    Comments (211) | Send Message
     
    Maybe it is an oversight and they fired the workers responsible for the launch of cross-platform BBM. Or their relatives. Or their friends.

     

    Unless BBM becomes available for download before premarket, this is ominous.

     

    Mr. Heins will be answerable for this, if confirmed. He could not have been more efficient at destroying shareholder value if he had attempted to do it deliberately.
    22 Sep 2013, 02:20 AM Reply Like
  • CAVOK
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    The fiasco with the BBM Android/iOS roll-out is yet another show of complete incompetence by current management. Yet Thorsten Heins is set to get a platinum gold parachute.
    22 Sep 2013, 09:13 PM Reply Like
  • tiger8896
    , contributor
    Comments (574) | Send Message
     
    Chances would be better if Lazaridis had the net worth to pull off the deal himself but he doesn't. I said in a previous post that he would need $7-8B to make a serious bid but I think you can pick up BBRY for $5B now. If someone offers 10 bucks a share for the company the BOD better take it.
    22 Sep 2013, 09:46 AM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (2318) | Send Message
     
    tiger

     

    I was thinking about that last night. If Lazaridis (Lazarus?) uses his own stake, and that of Watsa and the no-doubt seething pension funds, how much would he need to "raise" from lenders?

     

    It is a dicey question because if it was a mortgage on a house, there is always the house left to sell. The current mgmt's most visible result has been to transform a large cap company into a midcap, with no surety that one more drop may be in the cards. There are not the same hard assets to attach to... banks don't get as warm and fuzzy over patent portfolios. This may be exactly why Watsa has been unable to act.

     

    Perhaps the government would act as a guarantor, but that's a bit tough when you've just announced returning 4500 workers to the non-worker class with a high likelihood of more to come.

     

    These difficulties sure make it plausible that any buyout offer will not cause many smiles in shareholderland.
    22 Sep 2013, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • tiger8896
    , contributor
    Comments (574) | Send Message
     
    Randal - The Canadian government is not coming to the rescue of BBRY. They didn't for NT and unlike the auto companies who they did bail out, BBRY does not have a web of dealerships, auto parts suppliers and tens of thousands of jobs that revolved around the auto companies. The best they can hope for in government assistance is allowing some latitude in the ICA.
    22 Sep 2013, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • Z10isgreat
    , contributor
    Comments (188) | Send Message
     
    I disagree. As a Canadian taxpayer I have no issue with my government bailing out a restructured company. They did not hesitate to do so for American subsidiary auto manufacturers.
    22 Sep 2013, 11:20 AM Reply Like
  • docgastro
    , contributor
    Comments (31) | Send Message
     
    I think Mr Heins is performing the same role as Mr Elop in the case of Nokia. Mr Heins is the mole who was introduced because they forced Lazaridis out and he is making sure the price drops enough for Lazaridis to buy it outright. Talk about corporate espionage!!
    22 Sep 2013, 09:55 AM Reply Like
  • marpy
    , contributor
    Comments (681) | Send Message
     
    All sorts of reports out there - I wander how many are from those who got caught with their pants down and still have some unloading to do! ;-)
    22 Sep 2013, 10:10 AM Reply Like
  • xtremetrader
    , contributor
    Comments (54) | Send Message
     
    As I said before, when they announced that they are actively looking for a buyer and P. Watsa resigning from the board, it meant the knives were out and every man (woman) for himself.

     

    Why did they come out and let the world know they are up for sale? Because they finally had to face the hard truth that this company is going nowhere. Now all efforts to will be to drive the SP down as far as possible.

     

    Retail investors would be well advised to stay away from BB's downward spiral.

     

    I don't own any BB shares and do not intend to take any positions in the future.

     

    Good luck
    22 Sep 2013, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • mitrado
    , contributor
    Comments (1948) | Send Message
     
    And this is the company that had much, much better chances at mobile than $NOK... Wasn't it? Seems that reality is finally setting in.

     

    I just don't understand how many kept fighting the obvious: no one cares about RIM anymore. Consumers don't buy it. Developers hate it.

     

    At least NOK betted in a platform that is easy for developers to use and this, my friends, was the only thing you had to know 3 years ago.
    22 Sep 2013, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (1986) | Send Message
     
    5.9 million consumers bought a BlackBerry device last quarter
    22 Sep 2013, 01:47 PM Reply Like
  • docgastro
    , contributor
    Comments (31) | Send Message
     
    Of those a great majority bought a legacy device (BB7), not their new product line (BB10). To put it into perspective, imagine as if Apple launched the iPhone 5S and a great majority went out and bought the 4S instead. Doesn't show much confidence in the new product line. BB is dead.
    22 Sep 2013, 05:11 PM Reply Like
  • BugleBoy
    , contributor
    Comments (120) | Send Message
     
    In Asia, they are buying the legacy devices because they can afford them - it is not a statement about the quality of the BB10 platform. Last time I looked in Penang in June, they were still retailing the Playbook for over RM2000! Ridiculous when I bought one in Canada in Feb 2012 for $299 CAD for 64GB model. (I still love the Playbook BTW) Management has totally missed the boat on pricing everywhere on the Z10 and Q10, and now we are in some real pain.
    Long BBRY.
    22 Sep 2013, 06:26 PM Reply Like
  • zaza0013
    , contributor
    Comments (4) | Send Message
     
    Anyone has updates on how much QNX as a sub brings in for bbry
    22 Sep 2013, 10:47 PM Reply Like
  • cpuiulet
    , contributor
    Comments (10) | Send Message
     
    Something fishy about BlackBerry releasing of earnings early by a week. Plus, how is BlackBerry selling less phones when BlackBerry data usage has gone up dramatically over the last quarter. I think they wanted to scare investors off so some private investor can get BlackBerry for cheap. BlackBerry is not going anywhere. I don't like what they're doing behind closed doors, but I still love my Q10 and will be using BlackBerry for as long as they keep putting out phones with the sweet tried and true physical keyboard. Nothing comes close. And yeah - their new OS10 kicks *#@.
    22 Sep 2013, 10:53 PM Reply Like
  • singhonfire
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    $ 6 it is then
    22 Sep 2013, 11:01 PM Reply Like
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (1986) | Send Message
     
    $13-$17
    22 Sep 2013, 11:03 PM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (2318) | Send Message
     
    LYogi

     

    Reality, being as mean-spirited as it is, may deny you your hopeful target without serious intervention.

     

    http://bit.ly/1bArfc5
    22 Sep 2013, 11:36 PM Reply Like
  • LYogi
    , contributor
    Comments (1986) | Send Message
     
    we shall see amigo!!
    22 Sep 2013, 11:40 PM Reply Like
  • Energysystems
    , contributor
    Comments (944) | Send Message
     
    Don't be surprised when Lazaridis does the same thing that the $BBY founder Shulze did. Put the word out, never get any financial backing to actually do the takeover, cash out well above the current share price.
    23 Sep 2013, 12:49 AM Reply Like
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