BlackBerry CEO on possibly selling BBM: ‘If somebody comes to me and offers me $19 billion I would definitely sell it’

Ian Hardy

February 25, 2014 7:33 pm

Minutes after announcing that BBM has over 85 million active users and plans to launch an enterprise version called ‘BBM Protected,” CEO John Chen basically stated he’s willing to depart with a core BlackBerry service for the right price.

“If somebody comes to me and offer me $19 billion I would definitely sell it. I mean I would recommend to the board to take it, but it all depends on what it is.”

The billions are bring brought forward from the recent Facebook acquisition of WhatsApp, but Chen noted that he thinks “the right thing to do is to expand that and make it as big as possible, then worry about the valuation later.” Based on the current market value, analysts peg BBM to be worth about $3.4 billion.

Source: CNBC
Via: TechCrunch

  • DKvanB

    Sorry, your time has passed.

    • Supa_Fly

      yeah right … I wonder if you’ll still be stating this for the NEXT 3yrs! Pathetic.

      Seems their on the right track stock shot up 16% yesterday after the news, and held 14% of that!

    • crocop24

      You the CEO?

      You are taking the fact that BB is sinking very personally.

  • southerndinner

    Sorry BBM. You’re irrelevant, despite being on the only two platforms that matter.

    RIP BBRY

    • Supa_Fly

      Ahh… irrelevent? We’ll see the numbers in 3mths considering people not swallowing the no ads lies from WhatsApp and FB ownership – 4 days later HUGE outtage (and people thought that such can only happen to BlackBerry). It’s been 6mths since a major outtage from BlackBerry for BBM, and now a new secure enterprise offering for BBM with individual UNIQUE keys for security end to end now using BES10. WhatsApp doesn’t have that.

      BBM Voice coming to iOS, Android and Windows Phone – WhatsApp doesn’t have that.
      BBM can do EVERYTHING WhatsApp can do (except using SMS to add/invite users).
      BBM Video and ScreenSharing if not already on iOS and Android is coming this month (I believe VideoChat is already available, ScreenSharing coming).
      BBM can Share Calendars for Groups – individually from your own Calendars and YOU choose to share from personal or other calendars with those in your Group.
      BBM Groups have 1 or 2 administrators (WhatsApp doesn’t have any).
      BBM Can now be used for Corporate Server connected devices or Personal (soon to Android, iOS, and WPhone this Spring 2014; WhatsApp nadda!)
      BBM VOIP is FREE on WiFi or cellular networks (data charges if using cellular if not under data alotment; WhatsApp is ONLY going to work on WiFi; what a joke)

      Lastly ….

      BBM has been FREE and AD-FREE since inception almost a decade now … let’s see how long WhatsApp can manage under a company that thrives on selling member information to 3rd parties and STILL pushes ads on EVERY member!

      So … monetizing a wide platform for chat and collaboration = charge business that can see the relevance by bolstering security beyond any doubt!

      Irrelevant … I think not. You a parrot reciting what you’ve read on some fan blog or what a BB hating fan told you to make you feel good = most likely!!

      Do some research for yourself before spreading F.U.D.

    • Zee

      Sure BBM doesn’t have service outages now that their user base has dwindled to 85 million, let’s see them handle the 450 million active Whatsapp users (which is increasing by about a million per day)

    • southerndinner

      We’ll see if you carry that same tune in 6 months when they’re out of the hardware game and BBM is sold for a couple million

    • barrist

      BBM looks like it’s getting some neat features. Unfortunately BBM has lost its cachet and will drift into the Enterprise sector where it might still have some use.

  • Martin Chan

    No one, understands the humour.

    • Dimitri

      We was just joking & i doubt these people even see the humor. no one understands it & sees it & jumps on the gun.

  • ronnnyraygun1

    $27. That’s my offer.

    • Martin Chan

      35.59$

    • Super_Deluxe

      Sold!

  • deltatux

    No one in the right mind will pay $19B on a messaging service. Though, seeing how Google was heavily interested in WhatsApp, they could look into buying BBM for the original rumoured $10B for BBM. I know Chen is obviously joking, but they need to focus on making BBM lightweight and put a real commitment in rewriting BBM clients for Android and iOS so it can use the strengths of the respective operating system to make BBM better instead of adding more features on to BBM. I much rather have a much faster, lighter weight and reliable messaging service than one that has a plethora of features that not everyone will use.

    • Dimitri

      ” No one in the right mind will pay $19B on a messaging service” Umm so does that include Facebook paying 19B for WhatsApp? Its a messaging app as well..

    • deltatux

      Keyword: “right mind”. I still find Facebook’s $19 billion offer is ludicrous to say the least. WhatsApp is not worth anywhere near that amount, even $5 billion is stretching it. Of course WhatsApp will sell itself when someone offers a crazy amount like this for the company.

    • J-Ro

      Only $4b of that $19b is real. The rest is all shares of the company, which could mean nothing by the time they go to sell it. Google offered them $10b and they settled with $4b. If that is the math and logic behind Whatsapp, it isn’t a wonder that their alleged profit for last year was only $20m

  • Nimer55

    Had Blackberry expanded to ios/Android from the start, it would be much bigger than WhatsApp is, but just because that time has passed, doesn’t mean success is impossible for BBM.

    BBM’s biggest perceived problem here, is its brand, but WhatsAPP is mainly big outside of North America and Europe, and outside of those regions, Blackberry still has a decent brand.

    Blackberry just recently (About a week ago) updated it’s app to support Android 2.3, which is still on about 20% of devices, and that 20% is disproportionally where BBM can be popular (poorer countries).

    Blackberry claims to have 80 million active users (About 1/5 of WhatsAPP), and it only expanded to Android 2.3 a week ago, and is going to be expanding to windows phone, and nokia’s weird new Android thing in the near future.

    It can still be really successful, if it expands further onto more platforms. It MUST hit every platform, just like WhatsAPP has, because for someone to use it, all their friends must use it too. That means Symbian, and other Nokia devices.

    They must also add in other features such as stickers… Honestly, I don’t get the appeal, but they are popular, so BB must add them, and also partner with other companies such as Disney to do special tv show ones like whatsapp does… And since Blackberry is more concerned with users than revenue for BBM, they could maybe offer them for a cheaper rate, or maybe even free of charge, if they can convince the copyright holders to do it as a way to promote their brands.

    Will it get as big as WhatsAPP? Probably not, but it’s not impossible for it to become really big. I don’t intend on using WhatsAPP or BBM myself anytime soon, but I know which company I would trust more with communications if I had to make that choice.

    Blackberry Messenger still has the potential to hit a few hundred million users.

  • Sweet

    There are few things in the world that I wouldn’t sell for $19B. :-)

  • beyond

    maybe Facecrap can buy it

  • gtasscarlo

    The CEO is gonna be the death of Blackberry

  • FunkyMonkey

    After this interview I got even more respect for the BlackBerry CEO, it’s something they needed for a long time

  • Dylan D’Croix

    They would be lucky to receive an offer of $5B for BBM.. I downloaded it for my phone and deleted it because nobody was using it. Everyone who had BBM switched to android or iOS years ago…

  • 01011001001

    If only those previous powers that be had any vision to deploy on iOS and Android they would’ve been the defacto standard in mobile messaging but then again BB was blinded by it’s own success. I think the time has really passed for BBM, I have it and rarely that people I know that has BBM even uses it now – people have moved on to whatsapp, iMessage, viber, twitter, etc.

  • Zee

    Keep waiting Chen.

  • cheech

    blackberry is dead. who cares. nobody in their right mind would pay 19B for a dead technology and losing subscriber base.
    chen is smoking some cheech and chong

  • Brandon Orr

    I love it when people say BBM is irrelevent they obviously lack the grasp of what the word “irrelevent” means! Definition: Unrelated to the matter being considered.

    Yes BBM is relevant as it’s related to the matter of it being sold for $19B as a joke by the CEO, and yes it is relevant to you because you bothered to comment. In fact YOUR comment is irrelevant to the discussion.

    Also LOL at the fact that 70% of the comments below didn’t realize it was a joke, him saying he would sell it for $19B. As if anybody wouldn’t sell anything for $19B…

    • Canadianman23

      I would have agreed with a comment about BBM being irrelevant UNTIL Facecrook went ahead and bought Whatsapp. The best way to kill off something globally is for that big blue F logo to buy it and take it over. I have never nor will I ever use Facebook or any service they own. A lot of people feel that way and it was why Blackberry stock jumped up when the sale was announced because people know whats up, and that whatsup will lose a lot of people month on month until its closed. So right now BBM is one of the most relevant messaging apps after KiK and thanks to facebook will now get a solid place in second, until facebook buys that.

  • gommer strike

    Well hey he’s honest. Can’t fault the man for that.

  • kroms

    Is this Dude on Crack ?

    No one is GOING to magically appear and offer him any where NEAR 19Billion for BBM let alone for the ENTIRE BB portfolio .

    LMAO , Like really ? Mr Chen.

    • louis

      Wow you are stupid