September 25, 2013

Former tech giant BlackBerry acquired for $4.7 billion

The technology lifecycle can be unpredictable.

One moment, your company is on top of the industry, and the next, you might be struggling to innovate and find yourself being acquired by another company. That is where BlackBerry currently finds itself, as the former mobile device leader has been acquired by a consortium lead by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited for $4.7 billion. Once the deal is complete, the consortium will take the company private, cashing investors out at $9 per share.

For the better part of the 2000s, BlackBerry was the leader when it came to mobile devices, especially smartphones. By the middle part of the decade, you would be hard pressed to find anyone in the corporate sector who wasn't using one of their devices as a critical tool for work-related tasks.

The tide started to shift in 2007 when Apple released the first version of the iPhone, evolving customers expectations of what was capable from a smartphone. This also caused other companies to enter the mobile device market and BlackBerry was unable to keep up with changing marketplace.

"The consortium would acquire for cash all of the outstanding shares of BlackBerry not held by Fairfax," BlackBerry said in a released statement. "Fairfax, which owns approximately 10 percent of BlackBerry's common shares, intends to contribute the shares of BlackBerry it currently holds into the transaction."

Any technology company is susceptible to the changing marketplace. In some cases, the best course of action down the line can be a technology acquisition or merger.