BlackBerry turnaround strategy questioned - Mobile World Live

BlackBerry turnaround strategy questioned

22 NOV 2013

The CEO of a leading Canadian pension fund said his firm looked at a potential bid for BlackBerry but never saw a strategy he believed would turn around the ailing manufacturer, according to Reuters.

Leo de Bever, chief executive of Alberta Investment Management (AIMCo), said all the country’s leading pension funds were studying proposals earlier this year for saving BlackBerry.

However, despite all the activity, he said AIMCo was never presented with a proposal strong enough to justify a substantial investment.

“You had six or seven entities darting in and out with various propositions,” he said. “But there was never a unified business plan to say ‘Okay, this is what we need to do’.”

Eventually, BlackBerry borrowed $1 billion from investors led by Fairfax Financial Holdings. Yet de Bever has doubts about this approach too.

“What they ended up doing was raising a billion dollars but what are they going to do with it?” he asked. “I haven’t seen anything that basically says ‘Okay, this is step two, three and four’.”

In the midst of the growing crisis, BlackBerry earlier this year made an acquisition to support BBM. It has confirmed it acquired French firm Scroon in May for an undisclosed sum.

Scroon manages Facebook, Twitter and other social-media content for corporate clients such as Orange, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Mazda and Warner Bros Entertainment,  providing a possible means for monitising BBM.


Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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