BlackBerry Dumps Plan to Sell, CEO

New direction involves raising $1B from investors

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 4, 2013 8:16 AM CST

(Newser) – BlackBerry pulled the rug out from under customers today, announcing that it was ditching its plan to sell itself to Fairfax Financial Holdings—and CEO Thorsten Heins along with it, the Wall Street Journal reports. Today was supposed to be the day BlackBerry "firmed up" the Fairfax deal (which was never exactly rock solid), or perhaps announced a new one—today was the deadline for competing bids, according to an earlier Journal story.

The company's new plan is to raise $1 billion by selling convertible notes to a group of investors, sources tell the Toronto Globe and Mail. John Chen will replace Heins as interim CEO. BlackBerry had been scrambling to find an alternative buyer, reportedly reaching out to Facebook, Oracle, and LinkedIn, among others. Shares plummeted 18% in premarket trading on news of the scuttled sale.

In this May 14, 2013 photo, Thorsten Heins, president and CEO at BlackBerry, speaks at a conference in Orlando, Fla.
In this May 14, 2013 photo, Thorsten Heins, president and CEO at BlackBerry, speaks at a conference in Orlando, Fla.   (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
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