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Blackberry announces formation of Special Committee to explore strategic alternatives

BlackBerry Limited, formerly Research In Motion (RIM) is a global mobile communications company. BlackBerry’s worldwide smartphone market share has been in decline since early 2009 according to research by International Data Corporation (IDC). The company, which was worth around $84bn in 2008, is worth less than $5bn now.

The latest figures by IDC, which looked at the shipments of smartphone operating systems (OS) in the second quarter of 2013, found BlackBerry’s sales were still losing ground. Android and Windows Phone OS grew by 73.5% and 77.6%, respectively, compared to the same period in 2012, whilst BlackBerry OS declined by 11.7%.

These declining sales have hit BlackBerry’s profits hard. In the financial year ended March 2013, the company posted a net loss of $646m, following a net income of $1,164 in FY2012 and $3,411m in FY2011. Near the end of this financial year, in January 2013, Research in Motion announced that it was rebranding to coincide with the launch of its BlackBerry 10 model. Leo Kelion, technology reporter for the BBC, commented that BlackBerry “took so long” getting its smartphones to market, and concluded that BlackBerry “is able to offer devices that make appealing upgrades to its loyal followers, but consumers and firms who have already switched platforms and other purchasers might see little reason to pick the ‘Berry.”

Following this trouble for the company, BlackBerry announced in a press release today that its Board of Directors had formed a Special Committee, whose job it would be to explore alternatives such as joint ventures or strategic partnerships, in order to accelerate sales of its BlackBerry 10. The press release also said the company was considering going private, saying that one of the possible alternatives could be “a sale of the Company.”

The Committee will be chaired by Timothy Dattels, a BlackBerry board member. Dattels said, “During the past year, management and the board have been focused on launching the Blackberry 10 platform and BES 10, establishing a strong financial position and evaluating the best approach to delivering long-term value for customers and shareholders.”

Find this interesting? You may also like our our ‘company profile on Research In Motion Limited’.

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