Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Investopedia: BlackBerry Finally Looking For A Bidder, But Will A Real Buyer Bite?

It looks like an outbreak of rationality has hit BlackBerry (Nasdaq:BBRY), as the company announced on Monday that it had formed a special committee to “explore strategic alternatives” for the struggling handset company. While the company's announcement mentioned options like joint ventures, partnerships, and alliances, shareholders, analysts, and investors are are zeroing in almost exclusively on the possibility of a sale.

If BlackBerry is serious about a sale, it'll happen. I have no doubt that, at the right price, the company can find a buyer willing to take on the not-inconsiderable task of turning around this struggling high-end handset company. The trick is going to be that “at the right price” part. BlackBerry's enterprise value (that is, market capitalization net of cash and debt on the balance sheet) isn't very large, but any buyer is looking at a likely multi-year restructuring/turnaround program that will require capital, compress margins, and offer only uncertain payoffs.

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