Fairfax to buy BlackBerry for $4.7 billion
The company also said Friday it plans to focus on offering only two high-end devices and two entry-level phones going forward, with emphasis on the business market.
The decline of BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion Ltd., is evoking memories of Nortel, another Canadian tech giant, which ended up declaring bankruptcy in 2009.
But BGC analyst Colin Gillis said taking BlackBerry private is the right move and said it's possible that BlackBerry could survive in a much smaller form. He noted that the $9-per-share offer is lower than the $12.32 average price that the stock traded over the past six months.
Anthony Michael Sabino, a professor at St. John's University's business school, said going private removes the burden of pleasing shareholders with short-term results, just as Michael Dell hopes to do with Dell Inc. after winning a bid to take the troubled computer maker private. He said Fairfax is known for patience in its investments, which would give BlackBerry time to regroup.
"In all honesty, its fate is still uncertain, but at least now it has a fighting chance," Sabino said.