/// Why Would Anyone Buy BlackBerry Now?
Now that foundering smartphone pioneer BlackBerry has put itself up for sale, will anyone buy it? Anything’s possible, but the emerging consensus among analysts is that BlackBerry is unlikely to prove an attractive takeover target. Indeed, the company’s announcement on Monday that it is exploring “strategic options” all but confirms that view. Certainly, it demonstrates a lack of interest in the $5.4 billion former smartphone trailblazer; presumably BlackBerry wouldn’t have to advertise for a buyer or partner if it weren’t having difficulty finding one. But now that it is, analysts are at a loss to explain exactly who would want to buy BlackBerry outright, and why. “We struggle to see who might buy BlackBerry given the ongoing turnaround challenges,” Nomura’s Stuart Jeffrey writes. “Any bidder would likely have to be proficient in company turnarounds to generate value from a BlackBerry acquisition. Few companies in tech seem to have that skill set, with most focused on technology acquisitions only.” Mike Walkley of Canaccord Genuity just doesn’t see it, either. “… We struggle to identify potential buyers that would pay a premium to the current share price,” he said on Monday. What about Samsung, Lenovo, or Microsoft, three companies that have occasionally been fingered as possible BlackBerry acquirers in the past? Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um suspects that their names will likely pop up again in the months ahead, but doubts anything will come of it. “We expect many companies will take a look even though they may not all be truly interested bidders,” he wrote in a note to clients. Sadly, that may well prove to be the case.
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