BlackBerry is reported to be giving a lot of thought to the idea of taking the company private. Reuters reports that CEO Thorsten Heins and the BlackBerry Board of Directors are increasingly discussing the possibility of buying out shareholders and structuring a private equity deal to give them a chance to avoid the public constantly looking over their shoulders.
The message from BlackBerry’s communications department has been pretty consistent regarding its recent quarterly performance, as well as issues like layoffs and executive departures – the company is still in turnaround mode, and needs to make more changes to get the organization ship-shape before it can return to growth. But that’s not a refrain that investors enjoy hearing – especially not when the track’s on repeat.
The idea of going private has great appeal to companies like BlackBerry. It would give it a chance to make the decisions it needs to behind closed doors, without needing to answer to shareholders. Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners are currently in the middle of a similar attempt to take computer maker Dell private.
The news lately has been less than good for BlackBerry, as executives are leaving amidst budget cuts and layoffs in key areas. One bright spot was the U.S. Department of Defense’s approval for the company to supply the agency with Blackberry 10 devices. The win will result in 30,000 devices being used by the DOD by the end of the year.