BlackBerry starts “Exploration of Strategic Alternatives,” including a sale

Looks like the rumours from last week were true about BlackBerry potentially going up for sale. The company has announced this morning that the Board of Directors have created a ‘Special Committee’ to “explore strategic alternatives” that could include ‘possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible transactions.”

According to the press release the Special Committee will be chaired by Timothy Dattels, plus include Barbara Stymiest, Thorsten Heins, Richard Lynch and Bert Nordberg. Leading the “Exploration of Strategic Alternatives” process will be JP Morgan Securities as its financial advisor, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Torys LLP are serving legal advisors.

Timothy Dattels, Chairman of BlackBerry’s Special Committee of the Board, stated “Given the importance and strength of our technology, and the evolving industry and competitive landscape, we believe that now is the right time to explore strategic alternatives.”

Thorsten Heins, President and Chief Executive Officer of BlackBerry, added, “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. As the Special Committee focuses on exploring alternatives, we will be continuing with our strategy of reducing cost, driving efficiency and accelerating the deployment of BES 10, as well as driving adoption of BlackBerry 10 smartphones, launching the multi-platform BBM social messaging service, and pursuing mobile computing opportunities by leveraging the secure and reliable BlackBerry Global Data Network.”

Last quarter BlackBerry reported 6.8 million smartphone shipments and revenues of $3.1 billion. BlackBerry also noted that “there can be no assurance that this exploration process will result in any transaction.”

Source: MarketWire