BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) announced early this morning via a press release that it has formed a special committee which will look for ways to “enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment.” Last week there were reports that the company was considering going private, although analysts at some firms say private-equity firms aren’t interested in helping the struggling company.
Premarket trading on BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) shares was halted briefly so that the announcement could be made. After the news, shares shot up as much as 6.5 percent.
BlackBerry announces special committee
The company said that at this point, the special committee will consider a variety of alternatives, including, but not limited to joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, or even an outright sale of the company.
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) said the special committee will be made up of Barbara Stymiest, President and Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins, Richard Lynch and Bert Nordberg. Timothy Dattels will serve as the committee’s chair.
Long-time BlackBerry supporter Prem Watsa resigns
The company also announced that Prem Watsa, a long-time supporter, investor and board member for the handset maker, has decided to resign. Watsa is Chairman and CEO of Fairfax Financial, which is BlackBerry’s biggest shareholder. He said in light of the exploratory process, there may be some conflicts of interest that could arise.
He said he’s still a big supporter of the company, its board and management and that Fairfax doesn’t have any intention of selling its shares in the company. There’s little doubt that this development will get Wall Street talking about the possibilities for BlackBerry. Watsa would be a powerful financial partner for the struggling company.
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) said the formation of this special committee doesn’t mean there will be a transaction. It also said that it won’t “disclose any further developments with respect to this process, unless and until its Board of Directors approves a specific transaction or otherwise concludes the review of strategic alternatives.”