BlackBerry Deal Full of Holes

Rolfe Winkler advises selling stock if you've got it

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 24, 2013 11:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – If you're a BlackBerry shareholder, Rolfe Winkler at the Wall Street Journal thinks you should sell while the selling's good. Fairfax Financial Holdings struck a deal yesterday with BlackBerry that, Winkler writes, is a little like a guy saying "he will buy your falling-down house for millions of dollars, but not until he gets it inspected. And, by the way, he might not have the cash to buy it." All yesterday's "letter of intent" said was that Fairfax would buy BlackBerry after looking at its books.

What's more, even if BlackBerry used all of its $2.6 billion in cash to finance the sale, Fairfax will have to find another $1.6 billion, and lenders might be leery given BlackBerry's shaky prospects. Analysts tell the New York Times that they're skeptical Fairfax could turn BlackBerry around, and unsure other, competing bidders will emerge. "There is no value for the BlackBerry 10 ecosystems," one analyst said. "The value of this company is cash and patents." Employees are even more gloomy following the company's announcement that it would lay off 40% of them. "It's not low morale. It's no morale," one employee tells the Journal. "It's like working at a hospice center. It's not a matter of if, but when."

In this Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, file photo, blackBerry's employees prepare the launch event for the company's new smartphones in London.   (Associated Press)
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