Tue, Apr. 21, 10:42 AM
- BlackBerry (BBRY -0.3%) is buying WatchDox, provider of an enterprise file-sharing/syncing platform that emphasizes security. Israel's Globes reports the purchase price is $100M; Geektime reports it's $150M.
- With the help of DRM, WatchDox's platform provides "full visibility and control over how files are edited, copied, printed or forwarded" across PCs and mobile devices, and lets companies remotely revoke access to or delete files. Hollywood studios looking to keep scripts from leaking are among the company's clients. Its HQ is in Palo Alto; R&D facilities are in Israel.
- BlackBerry plans to offer WatchDox's solutions, which can be used in on-premise, public cloud, and hybrid cloud deployments, as a value-added service that complements BES12. The deal follows the December launch of BlackBerry's $6/user/month Secure Productivity bundle.
- Major enterprise cloud storage/file-sharing platform owner Box (BOX -0.9%) is a notable rival. Box, which says it has sold to over 22% of the Global 2000, recently launched a key management service meant to give clients direct control over the encryption of data stored on Box's platform. It has also bought secure browser developer Subspace.
Fri, Feb. 6, 2:04 AM
- The SEC and the Ontario Securities Commission are investigating whether a recent Reuters report about a possible $7.5B purchase of BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) by Samsung Electronics (OTC:SSNLF) was sparked by investor intent on pumping the Canadian smartphone maker’s stock.
- BlackBerry shares, which closed on Jan. 13 at $9.71, shot up 30% on the news to close at $12.60 on Jan. 14, its biggest one-day gain in years.
- Shortly after the rumor, both companies denied holding talks for such a deal.
- Previously: BlackBerry denies talking with Samsung about buyout offer (updated) (Jan. 14 2015)
- Previously: More on BlackBerry/Samsung (updated) (Jan. 14 2015)
- Previously: BlackBerry +20.9%; Samsung reportedly approached about takeover (Jan. 14 2015)
Wed, Jan. 21, 7:29 PM
- Though both companies have issued statements denying M&A talks, Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) is "actively pursuing a plan to take over or buy a significant stake in BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY)," Canada's Financial Post reports.
- The paper has obtained a document prepped for Samsung by i-bank Evercore that "outlines the case for, and the potential structure of a possible purchase of BlackBerry." Though the doc was created in Q4 2014, a source says Samsung remains interested. “I can tell you Samsung is contemplating a purchase. It’s still being pursued right now. Samsung is still evaluating their options."
- BlackBerry soared a week ago after Reuters reported Samsung had proposed buying the company for a price between $13.35-$15.49/share. Shares quickly gave back most of their gains after BlackBerry denied having talked with Samsung about a buyout offer. Samsung later provided its own denial.
- BlackBerry has jumped in AH trading to $10.65.
Wed, Jan. 14, 5:38 PM
- In response to Reuters' report, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) says it "has not engaged in discussions with Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry."
- BBRY -11.2% AH. Shares are still up 15% from yesterday's close.
- Update: The Globe and Mail reports BlackBerry has "shunned a handful of takeover overtures in recent months as its board of directors and largest investor continues to support a restructuring strategy that they expect will deliver greater shareholder value than current acquisition offers."
Wed, Jan. 14, 4:14 PM
- Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) proposed acquiring BlackBerry (BBRY +29.8%) for a price between $13.35-$15.49/share, according to a Reuters source. BlackBerry closed yesterday at $9.71, and has closed today at $12.60. Shares are up another 3.2% AH to $13.02.
- According to documents, Samsung's proposed acquisition range implies an enterprise value of $6B-$7.5B, after factoring $1.25B in convertible debt. Execs from both companies reportedly met last week.
- Reuters states Samsung is interested in BlackBerry's patent portfolio. BlackBerry could also mesh with Samsung's efforts to grow its enterprise presence, strengthen its embedded/IoT offerings, and (though this is easier said than done) lower its Google dependence. The companies announced a BES12-focused enterprise partnership in November.
- Previously: Samsung reportedly approached BlackBerry about acquisition
- Update: BlackBerry denies having talked with Samsung about a buyout offer.
Wed, Jan. 14, 3:50 PM| 140 Comments
Dec. 4, 2014, 2:20 PM
- BlackBerry (BBRY -3.5%) wouldn't be able to accept a buyout offer from a Chinese company due to opposition from Western governments, John Chen tells Bloomberg in an interview taped on July 23, and airing tonight.
- Chen: "One of our biggest [installed] bases is government in the so-called Five Eyes countries where governments share intelligence. I think there will be a lot of regulatory issues and concerns." He adds BlackBerry doesn't currently have any buyout offers on the table.
- Lenovo reportedly weighed a bid for BlackBerry when the company was on the block last year, and has occasionally popped up in M&A rumors since. Meanwhile, Chen has been exploring ways for BlackBerry to enter China with the help of a local partner.
- Shares are selling off today after rising 6.2% over the prior two trading days.
Sep. 11, 2014, 9:13 AM
- Using Movirtu's Virtual SIM platform, both a business and personal phone number can be used on a single mobile device, with separate billing for voice, data, and messaging for each. Employees can thus switch between business and personal profiles without the need for two devices or SIM cards, and charges are properly billed to either the company or the employee.
- Terms were not disclosed.
- BBRY -0.5% premarket
Jul. 29, 2014, 10:47 AM
- BlackBerry (BBRY -0.7%) is acquiring Secusmart, a German developer of mobile encryption and anti-eavesdropping tech. Terms are undisclosed.
- Secusmart already offers a mobile security platform (called SecuSUITE) for BB10. Its solution relies heavily on a secure microSD card with a built-in encryption co-processor and crypto-controller.
- BlackBerry notes the companies have partnered to provide "Secusmart-equipped BlackBerry smartphones to a significant number of German government agencies and almost all German government ministries and leaders, including Chancellor Angela Merkel."
- The purchase comes amid an uproar in Germany over NSA spying activity, one that has even led the country's NSA inquiry chief to suggest using typewriters to avoid eavesdropping. Yesterday, the German government was reported to be interested in buying 20K more BB10 phones for security reasons.
- BlackBerry also sees opportunities to bring Secusmart's offerings to other markets. John Chen has shown an interest in carving out niches for BB10 phones in enterprise/government verticals with special requirements.
Jul. 28, 2014, 1:46 PM
- John Chen, during a Bloomberg interview: "I don't have any offers on my desk ... If people would like to talk, I mean, talk is not an offer." (video)
- BlackBerry (BBRY -2.8%) performed a strategic review last year, during which the rumor mill produced a long list of potential/would-be suitors. But the company abandoned its efforts to find a buyer in November in favor of a turnaround effort spearheaded by Chen.
- Chen reiterates today he has no problem with staying independent. "I am comfortable with where the company is today, how we managed our technology, our businesses, the margins, the distribution channel or the new products that's coming out ... Whether it's going to be good enough to be iconic again, OK, that's something I need to chew on."
- Last week: BlackBerry rallies after Chen talks partnership efforts
Jun. 13, 2014, 3:30 AM
- BlackBerry (BBRY) has reached an agreement with EnStream, a joint venture between Canada's three biggest telecom companies — Bell (BCE), Rogers (RCI) and Telus (TU), to provide the infrastructure for a new mobile payment platform.
- Under the three-year deal, EnStream will use BlackBerry infrastructure so banks and mobile operators can securely keep sensitive payment information on any smartphone able to use near field communication (NFC) tags.
- NFC tags permit smartphones to communicate with other mobile devices or credit payment systems by tapping the two together.
Jan. 22, 2014, 9:45 AM
- VMware (VMW -1.2%), parent EMC (EMC -1.3%), Citrix (CTXS -2%), and SAP (SAP -1.5%) are all lower following news of VMware's $1.54B acquisition of leading mobile device management (MDM) software firm AirWatch.
- Citrix (thanks to the Zenprise acquisition) and SAP (through its Sybase unit) compete with AirWatch. As does BlackBerry (BBRY +4.6%), which remains higher following news of its real estate sale plans.
- AirWatch's products, which also include mobile app management and security solutions, complement VMware's Horizon Workspace, which provides a secure, siloed workspace for business apps and files on mobile devices. With Citrix and SAP already offering an array of complementary mobile software tools for enterprises, VMware's move is in part an attempt to keep pace.
- AirWatch, Citrix, SAP, and BlackBerry, along with other firms such as IBM (previous) and Good Technology, are trying to profit from growing enterprise interest in MDM solutions, which help companies cope with the ongoing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend.
- In tandem with the acquisition, VMware has reported preliminary Q4 revenue of $1.48B (+15% Y/Y), slightly above a $1.47B consensus. Q4 license revenue is expected to come in at $$687M (+15%), within a guidance range for 12%-16% growth. VMware's full Q4 results are due on Jan. 28.
Jan. 21, 2014, 5:04 PM
- BlackBerry (BBRY) plans to unload the majority of its Canadian real estate holdings via sale-leaseback and vacant asset sale transactions. The properties being sold feature 3M+ sq. feet of space. (PR)
- CEO John Chen says BlackBerry "remains committed to being headquartered in Waterloo and having a strong presence in Canada along with other global hubs." Following its huge job cuts, the company needs much less office space than it once did.
- Shares are adding to the gains they saw in regular trading following the DoD's vote of confidence.
Nov. 8, 2013, 3:26 PM
- Sources tell Reuters plenty of tech companies expressed interest in buying parts of BlackBerry (BBRY +1.1%), but were shot down by a board that felt a breakup "did not serve the interest of all stakeholders, which include employees, customers and suppliers in addition to shareholders."
- Reuters is now reporting Microsoft and Apple were interested in BlackBerry's patents, and past reports have claimed Lenovo, Cisco, Intel, and Google were interested in part or all of BlackBerry. Ottawa reportedly turned Lenovo away due to security concerns. Also, John Sculley has said he was lining up a bid before BlackBerry announced its $1B, Fairfax-led, debt deal.
- The report comes as BlackBerry discloses its financing deal comes with a breakup fee that could range from $135M-$250M (depending on the circumstances). The company has also disclosed new chairman/interim CEO John Chen is being given $85M worth of restricted stock units (vesting over five years) as part of his compensation package.
Nov. 6, 2013, 2:27 PM
- Reuters reports a Qatari sovereign wealth fund invested as much as $200M in BlackBerry's (BBRY -1.2%) $1B convertible debt offering. A source says the fund was compelled to invest due to offering's yield (6%).
- The purchase is noteworthy both due to its reported size (only a little smaller than Fairfax's $250M commitment), and the fact the Middle East remains a relative stronghold for BlackBerry.
- Meanwhile, ex-Apple CEO John Sculley (previous) says he and other investors were lining up an offer for BlackBerry before the debt deal was announced, and were "pretty confident" they could pull it off.
- Sculley's comments come after The Globe and Mail reported Lenovo was serious about trying to acquire BlackBerry, but was (unsurprisingly) told by the Canadian government a deal would be shot down due to security concerns related to BlackBerry's network. No word on whether Lenovo would have been interested in a deal excluding BlackBerry's network, or whether Ottawa would've relented in such circumstances.
Nov. 4, 2013, 8:25 AM
- The Globe and Mail reports BlackBerry (BBRY) is abandoning its efforts to find a buyer, and will replace CEO Thorsten Heins.
- The report comes ahead of Fairfax Financial's 5PM ET deadline for shoring up financing for its $9/share bid. Few expected the firm up to come up with the necessary funds.
- Shares -18.2% premarket.
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