Blackberry to be sold for 47 billion but will stay Canadian technically

first_imgEver since Wayne Gretzky went to the Los Angeles Kings, Canada has lived in fear of Americans taking all our best stuff. A juggernaut with roughly ten times our population and an even greater lead in GDP, the US naturally sucks up our musicians and actors, our surgeons and sports stars. But at least we always had Blackberry, the company that made smartphones before there were smartphones, and which represented the country’s hopes that the technology industry would save a stagnating national economy. Here in the north, Blackberry is more than a mobile technology company — but nearly a decade of missteps and refusals to fulfill the demands of the market have turned it into little more than a long shot target for risk-taking American conglomerates.Today, Blackberry announced that it has received a buyout offer at $9 per share, or $4.7 billion in total, from investment firm Fairfax Financial. This offer will take the tanking company private, and keep it Canadian owned — technically. Though Fairfax is based in Toronto, almost two thirds of its employees are in the United States. This takeover has been anticipated ever since Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa resigned from the Blackberry board of directors over a potential conflict of interest.Blackberry’s new suite of phones like this Z30 failed to revitalize sales.This comes on the heels of Blackberry’s devastating financial predictions, warning of a nearly $1 billion dollar loss for the last quarter and announcing plans to lay off 40% of its workforce. In fact, the company has been doing so poorly that many analysts have expressed surprise at the offer’s generosity. The buyout offers almost twenty cents over the base stock price for Blackberry (BBRY) $8.82, and with major stockholders expressing doubt that they’ll ever get back their initial investments that offer is likely to be too enticing to ignore.Blackberry sold only 3.7 million smartphones in the second quarter — compare this to Apple’s reported nine million units sold of its iPhone 5s and 5c in just the three after launch. Where services like its Blackberry Messenger once delivered unique benefits to consumers, now more open solutions make abound. Between software leaks, so-so hardware releases, and damning service outages, Blackberry simply does not command the trust or respect it once did.The real question in all of this is whether Fairfax Financial has any concrete idea of how to convince consumers that Blackberry is back, for good.last_img