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BlackBerry’s best bet: iOS and Android?

Zach Epstein
August 20th, 2013 at 11:35 AM
BlackBerry Buyout

BlackBerry is currently exploring a number of options as its struggles persist, and a buyout is among them. It’s nearly impossible to value the company right now but, obviously, several analysts are happy to give it a shot. Among them is Nomura Equity Research analyst Stuart Jeffrey, who said in a recent research note that earlier reports suggesting BlackBerry could pull in between $14 and $15 per share in a sale were likely optimistic. If BlackBerry can even find a bidder, and Jeffrey doesn’t seem confident that it can, the vendor isn’t likely to see offers in excess of between $12 and $13 a share, according to the analyst.

“It seems likely that the BlackBerry board is looking at options to take the company private. This view is based on the board releasing a statement that it is open to acquisitions following a recent Reuters report,”  Jeffrey wrote in his note. “We do not expect to see a strategic buyer for BlackBerry and so any deal likely rests on financial investors taking control.”

He continued, “We believe that an optimist might see a way to transform BlackBerry into a SaaS company by keeping its email / calendar / contacts / and other mobile services, leveraging the company’s relationships with mobile operators and enterprises, and selling or closing the devices unit. The only way that this might succeed, in our view, is if BlackBerry services can be delivered on iOS and Android devices.”

The analyst thinks that BlackBerry’s new Secure Work Space service could pave the way to realizing that goal, but more bad news follows: Jeffrey thinks a post-buyout BlackBerry would also have to shut down its handset division and eliminate “a further 5,000 jobs on top of the already announced 6,000 cuts.”

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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