John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Will It Be Buyout or Breakup for BlackBerry?

BlackBerry_descent_into_maelstromAs BlackBerry waits for Fairfax Financial to line up funding for its proposed $4.7 billion buyout of its business, the foundering smartphone pioneer has quietly been approaching some big tech companies about mounting a rival bid. But evidently it’s not having much luck.

Bloomberg reports that BlackBerry’s overtures to Cisco, SAP, Samsung and Intel haven’t been well met. All four firms have turned up their noses at the idea of an outright acquisition, though some have expressed interest in portions of it, particularly its patent portfolio and enterprise network.

If BlackBerry was hoping to spark a bidding war with such stealth outreach, it’s looking like it may be out of luck. With so little interest in an outside bid for the company entire, the idea of selling off BlackBerry for parts could fast become its most attractive option.

Unless, of course, Fairfax manages to rally investor interest in its consortium bid and put together the financing it needs to pull it off. With BlackBerry’s stock trading well below Fairfax’s $9-a-share offer these days, that might prove difficult.

As Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu said a few weeks back, “We believe the Fairfax initiative is unlikely to come to fruition and see the next valuation floor for the stock at $5.”

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald