Today's the day that we were expecting to learn whether BlackBerry would be purchased by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited or one of the several other companies rumored to be in talks with Heins and Co. However, it looks like the beleaguered smartphone maker has decided to go another route.
BlackBerry just announced that it has concluded the strategic review of its options and has decided to accept a $1 billion investment from Fairfax Financial and other unnamed investors. It also says that CEO Thorsten Heins will step down from his position at the close of the deal. John Chen, former CEO of enterprise software company Sybase, will fill in as interim BlackBerry CEO until the company can find a permanent replacement.
The deal between BlackBerry and Fairfax Financial is subject to approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange as well as other conditions and is expected to reach completion in two weeks. This transaction is quite a bit different than the original $4.7 billion acquisition that we first learned about a month and a half ago, and it's kind of crazy to see Heins already getting the boot from BlackBerry. Whether or not this turns out to be right move remains to be seen, but after enduring a string of bumps that included a $965 million loss due to unsold Z10 inventory, I'm betting that BlackBerry won't mind having an extra $1 billion in its wallet.
What do you think of BlackBerry's deal? Will some more cash and a new CEO help the firm to finally turn things around?