An investment consortium led by Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. offered to purchase Canadian tech giant BlackBerry for $4.7 billion on Monday afternoon.
It’s the latest in a long stream of big-news developments for the Waterloo, Ont. firm in the recent past. After years of stellar growth (the company appeared on PROFIT’s ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies a record 11 times in a row), the firm has struggled to compete against its Android and Apple competitors. After a few poor product launches, the departure of founders Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis and, most recently, Friday’s announcement that the company will cut 4,500 jobs, turmoil seems to have become the status quo. Which may explain why the proposed sale price is just a small fraction of what BlackBerry registered in sales only a few years ago, and an even tinier fraction of its peak valuation (more than $80 billion, in 2008).
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Unsurprisingly, the response to the sale on Twitter was fast. And, equally unsurprisingly, reaction has varied wildly, from the smug to the defensive to the just plain misinformed. PROFIT sifted through the commentary; here are a few of our favourites:
What do you think the BlackBerry buyout means for Canadian business? Share your thoughts by commenting below.