BlackBerry stock rose Monday after Canada's flagship technology company said its board has launched a formal review of its "strategic alternatives" � including the possibility of selling the smart phone company.
The company says the review could result in BlackBerry
forming joint ventures, strategic partnerships or a sale of BlackBerry.
It didn't specifically mention going private, an idea that has gained
favour recently according to recent reports.
long-anticipated formal strategic review � which will seek to get the
best deal for BlackBerry shareholders � pushed up BlackBerry share
RIMTimeline: Research in Motion's rise and fall
shares were rose more than 10 per cent, or $1.08, to close at $11.13 on
the Toronto Stock Exchange, which is about $8 below the high in January
when the stock was boosted by optimism for its BlackBerry 10
The rising stock is a sign of shareholder
frustration, according to equity analyst Troy Crandall, of the
Montreal-based investment firm MacDougall, MacDougall and MacTier.
BlackBerry 10 has not met expectations since its debut in January and
the company has long talked about turning around its sagging fortunes.
investors "haven't really seen much come forth from management,"
Crandall told CBC News. "It's about time they did something."
also announced Monday that Prem Watsa, the head of Canadian insurance
company Fairfax Financial and one of BlackBerry's key shareholders, has
resigned from the BlackBerry board due to potential conflicts.
Financial, which owns 9.9 per cent of BlackBerry, is reported to be in
talks with private equity investors to find ways to take BlackBerry
private and his departure is taken as a sign of potential interest.
who may want to buy the company could include the Canada Pension Plan,
which has previously expressed interest, and private equity firm Silver
Lake Partners, which reportedly has been in talks with the company on
Buyers would have been easier to find a
few years ago during the company's heyday, said Crandall, when
Microsoft, Oracle and other big names were thought to be interested.
"But things have changed and [those companies] are not so interested from what we can tell," he said.
joined the Blackberry board in early 2012 as part of attempts to
revitalize the company, previously called Research In Motion, as its
previous long-time co-CEOs stepped aside and installed Thorsten Heins as
"I continue to be a strong supporter of the
company, the board and management as they move forward during this
process, and Fairfax Financial has no current intention of selling its
shares," Watsa said in a statement issued by BlackBerry.
announcement comes amid unconfirmed reports that the Waterloo,
Ont.-based company may go private � a move that could result in one or
more investors buying out other shareholders and delisting the stock.
month, the company laid off 250 employees at its new-product testing
facility, and in 2012 shed 5,000 jobs as it sought to regain its footing
in the highly competitive smartphone market.
Heins said there
are "compelling long-term opportunities" for the company's products
including a new generation of BlackBerry smartphones, the BlackBerry
Enterprise Server and a new secure global data network.