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Qualcomm may be bidder for ailing BlackBerry

Local chip-maker had $11.5 billion in cash a few months ago

According to a story in the Wall Street Journal that later appeared in the New York Times and on Bloomberg News, a consortium that includes Qualcomm, private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, and BlackBerry's cofounders, Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, is preparing a bid for the ailing company.

BlackBerry once was the leader in smartphones but has fallen far behind Apple's iPhone and a number of devices that use Google's Android operating system.

People theorizing on the possible deal feel Qualcomm could be a member of the possible bidding group because it has experience in wireless and is a large corporate entity that could backstop BlackBerry's losses. Monday is the deadline for any bid.

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According to a story in the Wall Street Journal that later appeared in the New York Times and on Bloomberg News, a consortium that includes Qualcomm, private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, and BlackBerry's cofounders, Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, is preparing a bid for the ailing company.

BlackBerry once was the leader in smartphones but has fallen far behind Apple's iPhone and a number of devices that use Google's Android operating system.

People theorizing on the possible deal feel Qualcomm could be a member of the possible bidding group because it has experience in wireless and is a large corporate entity that could backstop BlackBerry's losses. Monday is the deadline for any bid.

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9

If Qualcomm gets into such a deal, it could be unwise. Many suppliers have attempted to bail out or even take over their downstream customers in order to avoid having the customer fail. Occasionally it works and less often it turns out to be astute. But most often it just staves off the inevitable, the failure of a big customer. SuperValu Foods was a wholesaler that went around buying up supermarket chains that were its customers and that were struggling. One of the things it bought was a big piece of Albertson's a few years ago when that company dismembered itself and sold off the pieces. As it was, SuperValu owned many chains around the US. A few months ago, it divested itself of most of them in an attempt to avoid its own failure. One of the things it unloaded was the Albertson's/Sav-On operation it had here and other parts of the west. Rescuing those supers was not a good thing for SuperValu at all. If you're going to do that, it has to be done very carefully, and with some strategy beyond just preserving market share of an unprofitable market.

Nov. 3, 2013

Visduh: You are right if bailing out a customer is Qualcomm's motivation. It may be, but it may not be, too. BlackBerry at one time was the envy of that industry and may have some valuable technology. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 3, 2013

If Qualcomm buys Blackberry, and Blackberry is headquartered in Canada, then maybe they'd start hiring engineers foreign to Canada, as is their usual aim here in San Diego. Well, I'd be a foreign engineer, in Canada. Seems that might actually raise my chances of being hired at Qualcomm. I approve. Hey, my cell is a Blackberry. Interesting.

Nov. 4, 2013

mridolf: If your cell is a BlackBerry, you are in a distinct minority. According to the Wall Street Journal, BlackBerry, which once had more than half the U.S. smartphone market, now has only 2%. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 4, 2013

"(Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd is abandoning a plan to sell itself and instead will replace its chief executive officer and raise about $1 billion from institutional investors, including its largest shareholder, the smartphone maker said on Monday."

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/blackberry-calls-off-sale-replace-133129601.html

Personally I would think they will have a very hard time raising $1B. The fatal shot to RIM/BB was the iPhone, ever since that they have been dying a slow death.

Nov. 4, 2013

BLACKBERRY ABANDONS PLAN TO SELL OUT. As of this morning (Nov. 4), Blackberry has abandoned its plan to sell itself and instead will sell $1 billion in convertible debt to its major shareholder, Fairfax Financing Holdings, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The company is ousting its chief executive, Thorstein Heins. Blackberry stock is down 11.07% in early trading this morning. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 4, 2013

ImJustABill: There is skepticism in capital markets on whether BlackBerry could raise $1 billion. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 4, 2013

Bid away, BBRY loses value every day. End of year, $4.00 a share.

Nov. 4, 2013

Ponzi: The story of BlackBerry is a very sad one. It once dominated the market, but didn't keep innovating. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 5, 2013

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