BlackBerry open to privatisation

Buyout could help struggling company

BlackBerry's board of directors are reportedly open to the idea of privitisation as a way of changing the company's fortunes

BlackBerry's struggles over the past couple of years have all played out in the public domain, but that may be about to change.

According to Reuters, both CEO Thorsten Heins and BlackBerry's board of directors are considering taking the company private in order to help turn it around.

The Canadian company has seen its shares fall more than 19 per cent this year, and its overal market value has dropped to $4.6 billion from a peak of $84 billion in 2008.

Despite a positive critical reception, the new BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 handsets haven't been flying off the shelves.

According to a source speaking anonymously with Reuters: "There is a change of tone on the board". However, there is no deal currently on the horizon and BlackBerry hasn't started any kind of push to find a buyer.

If true, it's a shift in attitude from the company, and from Heins in particular, who was positive about the company's progress only a couple of months ago.

He told Bloomberg in April that the launch of the BlackBerry Q10 showed there was still a huge demand for the company's products.

“This is going into the installed base of more than 70 million BlackBerry users, so we have quite some expectations. We expect several tens of million of units,” he said.

BlackBerry, formerly Research in Motion, is looking at other options to stem the tide, including launching BlackBerry Messenger on iOS and Android, laying off R&D staff and examining the possibility of licencing its BlackBerry 10 operating system.

Source: Reuters