The deed is done. BlackBerry has received a letter of intent to be acquired for $4.7 billion from an existing shareholder that owns nearly 10% of the struggling mobile-device maker.
Fairfax Financial is an insurance company whose wealthy founder, Prem Watsa, stood down from BlackBerry’s board a month ago in a bid to avoid criticism of conflict of interest.
That hasn’t stopped investors from looking at the deal to go private and shaking their heads. Kevin Stadtler of Stadtler Capital sold his shares last June when the company missed its fiscal-first-quarter results. He’d held about 60,000 shares earlier this year, and is not impressed on behalf of the investors who stuck with BlackBerry to the end.
BlackBerry over the years has come under greater pressure from competitors like Apple AAPL -0.32% and Samsung, and an industry increasingly moving towards product parity, says Brett T. Robinson, a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame. “[Blackberry's] strategy to remain an enterprise product is shaky at best.”