BlackBerry considering going private


The already-storied BlackBerry saga may take yet another turn. Citing “several sources familiar with the situation,” A report today suggests that BlackBerry’s board, along with CEO Thorsten Heins, are are increasingly considering taking the company private. “There is a change of tone on the board,” one of the sources told Reuters. The move would eliminate the public scrutiny that the company is under and allow it to focus on turning its fortunes around behind closed doors.

The move is described as a “radical shift” as the company has been fighting to remain independent so far. To date, BlackBerry’s strategy hinged on its new devices and the possibility of licensing BlackBerry 10 to other manufacturers. As recently as last month, Heins indicated that the company was “on the right track” and simply needed more time to complete its turnaround. But BlackBerry 10 sales have yet to really catch on with only 2.7 million BlackBerry 10 shipped last quarter (along with a US$84 million loss). And no licensing deals have been announced yet.

The report adds that no deals are currently in the works and “BlackBerry has not launched any kind of a sale process.” Reuters points out that BlackBerry could find it difficult to land the funding necessary to go private. It would have to convince those who put forward the money that it can return to profitability and stop losing subscribers.

One potential partner could be private equity firm Silver Lake Partners with which BlackBerry recently held talks about a potential collaboration in enterprise computing. But Silver Lake is currently embroiled in a battle to take Dell private and any deal with the Canadian company may need to wait until the Dell deal dust settles.

Source : Reuters