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September 26, 2013

No 2Q Earnings Call for BlackBerry as Sale of Company Approaches

BlackBerry image — BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins at the BlackBerry 10 product launch in January.

BlackBerry will release its second quarter financial results Friday, but there will be no conference call with investors and analysts to discuss the results, the company has announced.

The beleaguered Canadian Smartphone maker cited the letter of intent agreement between BlackBerry and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited as the reason for the call’s cancellation.

“In light of the letter of intent agreement between BlackBerry and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited that was signed and announced on Monday, Sept. 23, BlackBerry has cancelled its second quarter earnings conference call and webcast that had previously been scheduled for Friday, Sept. 27 at 8 a.m.,” reads a BlackBerry press release.

“The company will publish further details regarding its second quarter results in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis and consolidated financial statements, to be filed next week.”

Prem Watsa

Prem Watsa

Blackberry announced Monday it is to be acquired by Fairfax, its largest shareholder, for $4.7 billion. The letter of intent between the two companies indicates investors will receive $9 cash for each share and a definitive transaction agreement is to be finalized by Nov. 4.

The sale is, no doubt, welcome news to the company which announced earlier this week it has sustained a $1-billion loss in the second quarter as its attempts to regain its former stronghold in the Smartphone market fell flat in the face of the dominance of Apple and Samsung.

BlackBerry halted trading of its stock Monday as well — three days after the announcement of upcoming massive layoffs caused shares to plummet below $8.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based company is rumored to be cutting up to 40 percent of its 12,700-employee workforce. If the 40 percent figure is accurate, more than 5,000 people will be out of work.

Despite all of the doom and gloom news out of BlackBerry in the past few weeks, Fairfax is putting a positive spin on the sale, listing the advantages of taking the company private.

“We believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for BlackBerry, its customers, carriers and employees,” said Fairfax founder and CEO Prem Watsa in a statement. “We can deliver immediate value to shareholders, while we continue the execution of a long-term strategy in a private company.”

A billionaire investor, Watsa formerly served on BlackBerry’s board of directors and owns 10 percent of the company.

Watsa, who is known as the ‘Canadian Warren Buffett,’ stepped down when BlackBerry announced in August it was putting together a special committee to “explore strategic alternatives” — including the option of a sale — on behalf of the company.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.