Trading in BlackBerry shares was briefly suspended today, in the events leading up to an announcement by the company that it would be exploring ‘strategic alternatives.”
BlackBerry, via TNW:
“The Company’s Board of Directors has formed a Special Committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment. These alternatives could include, among others, possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible transactions.”
The company, once the dominant leader in the enterprise market, was a latecomer to the touchscreen phone market, and its first attempts were disappointing at best. Aggressive moves by both Apple and Samsung in the corporate market, and new “Bring Your Own Device” policies by many companies have increasingly isolated BlackBerry from the corporate market it once dominated.
The company’s press release also noted that Prem Watsa CEO Fairfax Financial has resigned from the board:
With the announcement of the Special Committee, Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Fairfax Financial informed the Company that he felt it was appropriate to resign due to potential conflicts that may arise during the process. Fairfax Financial is the largest BlackBerry shareholder. Mr. Watsa said, “I continue to be a strong supporter of the Company, the Board and Management as they move forward during this process, and Fairfax Financial has no current intention of selling its shares.”
BlackBerry’s press release noted that simply because the company was exploring its options, it was no guarantee there would be an transaction, and that it would not disclose any further developments until a specific transaction was approved.