Fairfax Financial Holdings has officially purchased BlackBerry for $4.7 billion dollars - that's around $9 per share. BlackBerry shares were trading at around $8 per share just prior to the acquisition. Fairfax Financial Holdings is a Toronto-based company that mostly deals with financial holdings.
What does this mean for BlackBerry? What does it mean for BlackBerry users? It certainly doesn't look good.
Fairfax's Stake In BlackBerry
Prior to the acquisition, Fairfax already owned a 10% stake in the company. Now, Fairfax will own the entire company, which is what BlackBerry wanted in a sale. Even though various companies were interested in purchasing BlackBerry bit by bit, Fairfax has scooped up the entire thing. But, does it really matter at this point?
When the acquisition has been completed (the deal is in its final stages now), BlackBerry will go private, but this doesn't mean that the company will be revitalized. In fact, it's more likely that Fairfax will rip it apart and sell it off piece by piece. Fairfax has a history of cashing in on purchase of this sort, and tech companies don't usually go through a rejuvenation process.
What About BlackBerry Users?
This is, of course, the question on most BlackBerry user minds. What happens to BlackBerry devices once the company has been officially purchased? More likely than not, Fairfax won't be putting the money that's needed into the BlackBerry brand. That means that the devices currently owned by BlackBerry users will probably not be supported by carriers in the very near future.
What should you do with the BlackBerry device you've just purchased? Hang onto that device for now, and wait to see what Fairfax announces. It's possible that nothing will happen right away, and it's also possible that carriers will be offering some upgrade deals. Fairfax might support the devices for some time after the purchase has been inked, though this is somewhat unlikely.
In other words: you may be stuck with a new BlackBerry device that no longer works. Yeah, that's not good. But, it happens in the tech world, so what are you going to do about it? Hopefully, BlackBerry will offer some kind of deal to current BB users, but we'll have to wait and see if that actually comes to fruition.
No BBM Roll Out
In addition to the news that Fairfax Financial is set to purchase BlackBerry, the company has also announced that the set roll out of BBM to iOS and Android will no longer happen. This doesn't look good at all, but we can keep our fingers crossed for the Canadian company that could.
BlackBerry is something of a sad story, and it's also a story that looks like it's about to end. At least the company purchasing BlackBerry is Canadian, right? For those banking on BlackBerry, I'm going to offer up the suggestion that the time for all things berry has come to an end.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Will BlackBerry be ripped apart by Fairfax Financial?