BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) is serious about reaching its turnaround target and the firm won’t consider a sale until the turnaround is real. CEO John Chen reaffirmed BlackBerry’s position in an interview on CBC’s The Exchange with Amanda Lang. In the interview, John Chen said, “I don’t have any intention to sell BlackBerry.”
In all honesty, BlackBerry did offer itself for sale sometime in August 2013 but no buyers came with a good enough offer. The Wall Street Journal reports that BlackBerry had set up a special committee with JP Morgan Chase & Co to explore some options.
Some of the options to be explored were joint ventures, strategic deals, or an outright sale of the firm. The special committee was unable to get the buyout ball rolling. Then in December 2013, turnaround expert, John Chen was called out of retirement to try his hand at reviving the company.
The Rumors Don’t Seem to End
John Chen has done a decent job at the firm. He plans to take BlackBerry to profitability by the end of fiscal 2016 and the firm wants record $500M in software sales at the end of this fiscal year. The firm looks to be on track to meet both goals. For instance, in the first quarter, software revenue increased by more than 150% annually to $137M, which represents a fifth of total revenue.
Secondly, the firm is still a leading player in the enterprise market as its BES 12 won 2,600 new or renewed customers in the previous quarter.
Thirdly, the firm makes the most stable and secured smartphones in the market. In the interview, John Chen noted, “we make the most secure handset. Everybody, all of our competitors, will give that to us. Governments around the world are still using BlackBerry handsets”.
Hence, rumor mills might be thinking that John Chen will bow out when the ovation is loudest. John Chen needs to remind investors, Wall Street and analysts that the firm is not for sale because the rumor mill is always churning out reports about how BlackBerry is at the brink of being acquired.
The rumors about the possible sale of BlackBerry have surfaced with a vigor over the last couple of months. In May the rumor mills started by saying that Apple Inc. (AAPL) was already in talks to acquire BlackBerry. However, an Apple-BlackBerry deal doesn’t really look like it has much prospects; needless to say, the rumor never became a reality. A few days later, the rumor mill decided that Microsoft was next line to buy BlackBerry.
Negotiate a Sale from a Position of Strength
BlackBerry might eventually come up for sale, but that would be when John Chen is convinced that he can offer shareholders the very best value-driven deal. In the interview, he said that the firm will not consider a sale “until the BlackBerry shareholder has good value reflecting truly what we have.”
When the time for a sale is ripe, it might makes sense for Google who has never been mentioned in the BlackBerry acquisition rumors to buy the firm.