Reports of Veritas considering takeover offer for Blackberry
BlackBerry Ltd. Chief Executive Officer John Chen expects a “better than 50-50 chance” of wrapping a strategic company review before his contract expires in November, setting up a takeover or overhaul of the former tech darling.
Blackberry, the phone giant turned security software provider, needs to complete a review announced in May, Chen told analysts on an earnings conference call. The uncertainty around the process has compounded concerns about the company’s financial performance.
Veritas Capital is interested in making an offer for BlackBerry. Talks are still in the early stages, according to people familiar with the matter, and it’s possible the private equity firm changes its mind on the deal. Chen didn’t address this speculation during the call.
“The longer it lingers on, the worse it’s going to get,” Chen told analysts. It might take a long time with multiple steps “but there will be some decisions made.”
Blackberry stock sank as much as 17 per cent after it said in early September it expects less revenue for the fiscal second quarter than analysts projected. The weakness stemmed from lower-than-anticipated sales in its cybersecurity business and a delay in closing some large government contracts.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Treiber wrote in a Thursday note that potential outcomes of the strategic review could include splitting the company, selling a piece of the tech name or the sale of the entire company. Treiber added that during an analyst summit in May, BlackBerry indicated that the strategic review entailed a split of the company.
Shares of BlackBerry fell as much as 4.6 per cent on Friday.