BlackBerry may wind up going private but that doesn’t mean that the company will stay intact as a comprehensive hardware and software provider. As The Globe and Mail notes, private-equity firms such as Fairfax Financial Holdings that specialize in helping take companies private rarely leave those companies in one piece and will often sell them off in pieces to recoup some of their investment.
“Some Canadians are now pinning their hopes on Fairfax, the Toronto holding company that owns close to 10% of BlackBerry shares,” The Globe and Mail writes. “A financial consortium is more likely to sell BlackBerry’s most valuable assets to other smartphone manufacturers, to industrial groups or to tech companies looking for patents to protect themselves against intellectual property lawsuits. BlackBerry still has a lot to offer besides its patents, such as its valuable enterprise services business. The security of its data network is unrivalled. Its BBM messenger service is still popular. But make no mistake: The company would be broken up.”
All the same, taking the company private with a private-equity firm may be the best option BlackBerry has left, since the firm has reportedly been trying unsuccessfully to find a buyer for the past year.