BlackBerry considers possible sale, other future options

August 12, 2013

Smartphone maker BlackBerry said Monday that it is launching an “exploration of strategic options” for the company — including a possible sale.

The firm, which has been struggling to gain marketshare after the launch of its new BlackBerry 10 system, said its board of directors has formed a special committee to look at strategic options that will help its growth.

“These alternatives could include, among others, possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible transactions,” the company said in a statement.

The committee includes BlackBerry chief executive Thorsten Heins.

On Friday, BlackBerry shares saw a marked spike after Reuters reported that the company was “open” to taking the company private. BlackBerry declined to comment on those reports.

Following the company’s Monday morning announcement, the stock was up in pre-market trading. Shares were up more than 9 percent, at $10.65 per share.

Heins has been upbeat on BlackBerry’s chances at mounting a comeback against smartphone makers such as Apple and Samsung, but has also been careful not to rule out the possibility of partnerships or more significant measures to give the firm time to rebuild its consumer base.

He has also announced plans to make BlackBerry products more compatible with competitors’ smartphones, such as the introduction of security software that can run on iOS and Android smartphones, as well as plans to bring BlackBerry messenger to competitors’ phones this year.

On Monday, he reiterated that the company will continue to move forward with its current development and marketing plans for the operating system and for the firm’s new smartphones.

““We continue to see compelling long-term opportunities for BlackBerry 10, we have exceptional technology that customers are embracing, we have a strong balance sheet and we are pleased with the progress that has been made in our transition,” Heins said.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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