Just announced today by the New York Times, BlackBerry is reporting that it has reached a deal with a partial owner, Fairfax Financial Services, to go private. The news comes with the agreement that BlackBerry will pay shareholders $9 per share in cash, which equals approximately $4.7 billion.
Although no other company acquirers are named in the initial press release, BlackBerry can entertain other offers during it’s due diligence period, which lasts until November 4.
The private acquisition comes on the heels of a mass layoff of 10% of its workforce Friday, following a $1 billion loss, according to TechCrunch.
Marketing Failures Affect the Bottom Line
To those remaining BlackBerry owners, which comprise just 5.4% of the smartphone market as of April 2013, this sort of shift isn’t surprising. BlackBerry has long been struggling to keep up with other smartphone champions like Samsung and Apple.
Even though the former phone giant released a touchscreen keyboard model called the Z10 in Spring 2013, TechnoBuffalo.com reported that at the time of its launch, almost 83% of 1,500 survey respondents weren’t even aware that BlackBerry had released a new smartphone.
A lack of successful advertising and marketing campaigns, combined with lagging sales due to tough competition, has forced BlackBerry to reevaluate its products, especially after some users are saying they are ashamed to have one, as mentioned in another post by the New York Times. In a time where consumers are obsessed with innovation, BlackBerry has been forced to pay attention.