BlackBerry No Longer Finding A Buyer, Looking To Raise $1B, CEO Out
BlackBerry is no longer looking for a buyer. BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins will be replaced as he is stepping down from the CEO position and from the board of directors. Instead of bidding on BlackBerry, Fairfax Financial will now lead a group of investors that will be investing $1 billion into the handset company.
Faifax CEO Prem Watsa is going to become the lead director at the company. Former Sybase CEO John Chen will be the interim CEO and executive chairman after the investment is made, which is expected to happen within 2 weeks. The investment will be in the form of a debt sale and Fairfax will be putting $250 million into the company.
“Today’s announcement represents a significant vote of confidence in BlackBerry and its future by this group of preeminent, long-term investors,” stated BlackBerry chair Barbara Stymiest. “The BlackBerry Board conducted a thorough review of strategic alternatives and pursued the course of action that it concluded is in the best interests of BlackBerry and its constituents, including its shareholders. This financing provides an immediate cash injection on terms favorable to BlackBerry, enhancing our substantial cash position. Some of the most important customers in the world rely on BlackBerry and we are implementing the changes necessary to strengthen the company and ensure we remain a strong and innovative partner for their needs.”
Today was the deadline that BlackBerry set for Fairfax Financial to put a formal bid in for the company. Back in September, BlackBerry announced that they would be sold to Fairfax for $4.7 billion. Fairfax Financial attempted to line up the capital to finance the deal, but that fell through.