BlackBerry, the embattled smartphone maker that was once the must-have brand for City bankers and technology geeks, has confirmed it is considering selling the company.
The announcement, which follows weeks of speculation that it was looking at a range of new ownership options, came just before US markets opened and after trading in the group’s shares had been suspended.
In a statement, the company said its board of directors had “formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives” including “possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the company or other possible transactions”.
BlackBerry has been losing money after failing to keep up with its rivals – chiefly Apple and Samsung – as increasing numbers of mobile phone users move to smartphones. In its most recent quarter the company lost $84m (£54m) and expects to lose more money in the three months to the end of September.
Going private or being bought would allow the company to reorganise its business without the pressure of outside shareholder scrutiny – which is intense after the value of the firm slumped from around $84bn in 2008 to less than $5bn now.
In an attempt to compete with its rivals, the company recently announced two new smartphones – the touchscreen Z10 device and the Q10, which includes a mini keyboard favoured by many BlackBerry users.
Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry’s president and chief executive, said: “We continue to see compelling long-term opportunities for BlackBerry 10, we have exceptional technology that customers are embracing, we have a strong balance sheet and we are pleased with the progress that has been made in our transition.”
The special committee comprises Heins, directors Barbara Stymiest, Richard Lynch and Bert Nordberg, and will be chaired by Timothy Dattels.
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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