BlackBerry is currently in the process of exploring “strategic alternatives” for the company, which may include putting it up for sale.
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins, as part of a five-person committee, will look at a number of options including joint partnerships or alliances, as they attempt to raise stock value and increase sales of the company’s new BlackBerry 10 smartphones.
“During the past year, management and the board have been focused on launching the BlackBerry 10 platform … establishing a strong financial position, and evaluating the best approach to delivering long-term value for customers and shareholders,” said Timothy Dattels, chairman of BlackBerry’s new committee. “Given the importance and strength of our technology, and the evolving industry and competitive landscape, we believe that now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives.”
Said Heins in a release to the Canadian Press.
The announcement caused BlackBerry stock to jump more than 6% in early trading. This news comes on the heels of rumors that circulates late last week about BlackBerry’s board and executives warming up to the idea of potentially taking the company private. BlackBerry’s transition to a new operating system and a new line of smartphones has been the subject of investor scrutiny. Going private would shield BlackBerry from further scrutiny as the new phones struggle to gain traction with consumers.
Timothy Dattels, who is a senior partner at TPG Capital, will be heading the strategic review. Dattels joined BlackBerry’s board last year and had this to say in the same release:
“Given the importance and strength of our technology, and the evolving industry and competitive landscape, we believe that now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives.”
While Heins has repeatedly stated a preference for creating and selling new products rather than selling the company, he has publicly stated that no option is off the table at this point.