Aug. 21, 2013, 10:35 AM
- BlackBerry (BBRY -2.6%) is giving up some more of its recent gains after Bloomberg and contacted analysts suggest the company's phone business is "essentially worthless," and that BlackBerry's other assets (patents, BES, the network operations centers, cash/investments) are only worth ~$5B (current market cap is $5.3B).
- Fund manager Brian Huen: "Nobody is interested in buying the entire entity. I think they are now in the phase of saying, ‘We will do anything to maximize value, including breaking up the company.'"
- Canaccord: "The most logical acquirer of BlackBerry would likely attempt to transition BlackBerry’s subscriber base to its own competing smartphone products" BMO thinks it would cost a buyer $800M to shut down BlackBerry's phone unit.
- However, much of the buyout speculation thus far hasn't involved a rival OEM, but Prem Watsa and his reported efforts to talk to both P-E firms and "industry players" about a bid.
- Pac Crest recently suggested BlackBerry's purchase commitments will limit the size of any bid.
Aug. 16, 2013, 12:54 PM
- BlackBerry (BBRY -3.5%) is giving back a portion of its recent gains. Shares still +15% since Reuters' Aug. 9 report about the company's willingness to go private.
- Pac Crest's James Faucette (previous) argues today BlackBerry's $5.3B in off-balance-sheet purchase obligations (inc. $4.3B in purchase order commitments) will limit the company's buyout premium.
- On the other hand, many think BlackBerry's patent portfolio could fetch a hefty sum. MDB Capital's Chris Marlett recently estimated the portfolio is worth $2B-$3B.
- On Wednesday, Nomura argued a bid above $12-$13/share in unlikely.
Aug. 16, 2013, 3:00 AM
- Bloomberg has done some digging in BlackBerry's (BBRY) May proxy filing and found that CEO Thorsten Heins would make $55.6M if the struggling mobile-device company were to be sold and he was to be fired.
- The figure includes salary, incentive payments and equity awards, and is based on BlackBerry's share price at the end of Q4. If Heins is sacked without a change of ownership, he would get $22M.
- However, finding a buyer might not be so simple - the company's bankers have been touting it on the quiet for a year and have met with little interest.
Aug. 13, 2013, 11:13 AM
- BlackBerry (BBRY +9%) is now up 27% since Reuters first reported the company is thinking of going private. The company's enterprise value (excludes $3.1B in cash/investments) has grown to $3B.
- While Prem Watsa reportedly talks to both P-E firms and "industry players" about a deal, the NY Post reports BlackBerry would prefer to be acquired by a "Google-like" buyer rather than a P-E firm. One source speculates Amazon (AMZN - believed to be interested back in 2011, and possibly able to leverage BlackBerry's NOCs to bolster AWS) could be an option.
- AllThingsD reports Silver Lake "has no interest in working with Watsa or BlackBerry" on a bid.
- Another upgrade has come in: Scotia Capital has lifted shares to Outperform.
- More on BlackBerry
Aug. 13, 2013, 2:18 AM
- Alberta Investment Management would think about investing in BlackBerry (BBRY) if the company were to go private.
- It's early days," AIMCo CEO Leo De Bever said. "No one has approached us with anything that is baked.
- AIMCo's public interest adds to that of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, as well as to a report that Prem Watsa's Fairfax Financial (FRFHF.PK) is is "exploring ways" to take the company private. Watsa resigned from BlackBerry's board after it formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale. Fairfax is BlackBerry's largest shareholder.
- More on BlackBerry
Aug. 12, 2013, 5:57 PM
- Sources tell The Globe and Mail Prem Watsa, fresh off resigning from BlackBerry's (BBRY +10.5%) board, is "exploring ways" to take the company private.
- The paper adds "there was no strategic disagreement" between Watsa and the board, and that his resignation was purely done to avoid conflicts of interest. Watsa's firm, Fairfax Financial, is reportedly "holding talks with a number of private equity and industry players" about a possible deal.
- Meanwhile, Evercore has upgraded BlackBerry to Hold, and gives the company a $10/share sum-of-the-parts valuation. The firm thinks a buyer could see value in BlackBerry's network operations centers, and end up better monetizing them by creating an "open solution" that supports Android/iOS (as the departed Jim Balsillie reportedly wanted).
- Jefferies' Peter Misek once more takes an optimistic view, assigning a $15/share LBO valuation.
- More on BlackBerry
Aug. 12, 2013, 9:32 AM
- Ever-bearish Pac Crest is concerned about top shareholder Fairfax Financial's resignation from BlackBerry's (BBRY +6.3%) board. Though officially done in the name of eliminating conflicts of interest, the firm sees the announcement as bad news.
- Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa says his firm has "no current intention of selling its shares."
- Bernstein, meanwhile, thinks BlackBerry's decision to evaluate strategic alternatives "suggests ongoing operations are a disaster."
- Citing recent deals (inc. Dell's), TD Securities sees only a ~25% buyout premium, which implies a price of $12.20/share. Silver Lake and TPG are viewed as the most likely partners.
- Shares are still higher, but have pared their gains some.
- More on BlackBerry
Aug. 12, 2013, 8:35 AM
Aug. 12, 2013, 8:22 AM
- Included in the BlackBerry strategic alternative news is Fairfax Financial's (FRFHF.PK) Prem Watsa resigning from the board to avoid a conflict of interest.
- Leading the special committee will be TPG Capital Senior Partner Timothy Dattels.
- The combination suggests some sort of going-private bid by Fairfax, perhaps partnering with the Canadian Pension Plan.
- BBRY is set to resume trading at 8:30 ET.
Aug. 11, 2013, 3:51 AM
- A senior executive at a major Canadian pension fund that has worked with private-equity firms reportedly says they and other funds in Canada would consider participating in any deal to take BlackBerry (BBRY) private.
- With BlackBerry holding over $3B in cash, its market cap of $5.1B looks cheap, says one portfolio manager.
- On Friday, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board said it would be open to taking part in a Blackberry buyout.
- However, it's worth pointing out that plenty of companies have looked at BlackBerry and not taken the plunge, including Amazon and Microsoft.
Aug. 9, 2013, 2:21 PM
- Mark Wiseman, the CEO of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, says his organization is open to buying a stake in BlackBerry (BBRY +7.4%) should the company try to go private (as it's reportedly thinking of doing).
- Wiseman: "It’s safe to say that any large deal in Canada or elsewhere is something that we would make sure we took a hard look at."
- CPPIB previously invested in Skype when the company was private, and booked more than a 3x return when Skype was sold to Microsoft.
- More on BlackBerry
Aug. 9, 2013, 1:01 PM
- Though still up sharply, BlackBerry (BBRY +6.4%) is below its premarket highs, as analysts question the odds the company will actually be taken private and/or doubt a major premium will be paid.
- BGC: "Never say never but my read on this is this is just talk. ... You have to be highly skeptical of anonymous sources when there are no sources of capital."
- MKM: "If it were to happen, however, we think it’s more likely to be a take-under than a deal with a meaningful premium."
- Wells Fargo argues BlackBerry doesn't need to go private if it's willing to adjust its cost structure "to the reality of being a much-smaller revenue-generating entity." The firm points out BlackBerry spent 18.8% of its revenue on SG&A over the last 4 quarters (compared with 13.2% of Nokia's phone unit and 6.3% for Apple), and 12.9% on R&D (Nokia's phone unit was at 11.3%, and Apple at 2.5%).
- Previous: BlackBerry reportedly open to going private
Aug. 9, 2013, 12:28 AM
- Sources tell Reuters Thorsten Heins and BlackBerry's (BBRY) board are "increasingly coming around to the idea that taking BlackBerry private would give them breathing room to fix its problems." Michael Dell must be smiling somewhere.
- The news service cautions BlackBerry "has not launched any kind of a sale process," and that getting financing could be tough. $3.1B of BlackBerry's $4.8B market cap is covered by cash/investments, but the company is also posting losses and hardly fits the profile of a traditional LBO target.
- A source also states BlackBerry has talked to P-E firm/Michael Dell partner Silver Lake about "potential collaboration in enterprise computing." Those talks reportedly didn't involve "any buyout or other transaction-related discussions."
- Shares could get a lift from the report, particularly given BlackBerry's still-heavy short interest.
Mar. 13, 2013, 10:53 AM"There is not and has not been any specific evaluation or activity underway regarding BlackBerry (BBRY -0.9%)," says a Lenovo (LNVGY.PK) spokesman, discussing recent speculative remarks from CEO Yang Yuanqing. BlackBerry shares remain up 9.8% on the week. (Pac Crest) | Mar. 13, 2013, 10:53 AM | 7 Comments
Jan. 24, 2013, 11:43 AMRIM (RIMM +4.3%) has shot higher after Lenovo (LNVGY.PK) CFO Wong Dai suggests his company is open to buying RIM. "We are looking at all opportunities -- RIM and many others" spoke Dai at Davos, while noting RIM's run-up makes a deal more expensive. The comments come shortly after Thorsten Heins mentioned the possibility of selling RIM's hardware ops, something a Canadian government official didn't sound enthusiastic about. Lenovo's smartphone sales have surged lately. | Jan. 24, 2013, 11:43 AM | 9 Comments
Dec. 27, 2012, 5:57 PM
Synchronoss (SNCR) acquires cloud service provider NewBay from Research in Motion (RIMM) for $55.5M. CEO Stephen Waldis says the move is one of the first steps in a large expansion plan intended to boost SNCR's international presence with the takeover of a major European mobile operator.| Dec. 27, 2012, 5:57 PM