BlackBerry hires JP Morgan for possible sell off

Smartphone maker BlackBerry has hired JP Morgan Securities as financial advisor for selling the business or joint venture.

The struggling smartphone major says its board has formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale in order to accelerate BlackBerry 10 deployment.

These alternatives could include, among others, possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible transactions.

The plan for divestment / tie up strategies is taking shape at a time when BlackBerry reported a net loss of $84 million in Q1. Its revenue rose 9 percent to $3.1 billion in Q1 ended June 1, 2013. It shipped 6.8 million smartphones in the first quarter.

Recently, Microsoft said it would focus on finalizing its device strategies. Lenovo, Microsoft and Nokia could be potential suitors for BlackBerry.

BlackBerry does not want to share more information at this point of time.

BlackBerry looks for a buyer

The special committee is comprised of Barbara Stymiest, Thorsten Heins, Richard Lynch and Bert Nordberg, and will be chaired by Timothy Dattels.

Prem Watsa, chairman and CEO of Fairfax Financial, the largest BlackBerry shareholder, will resign due to potential conflicts that may arise during the process.

Fairfax Financial has no current intention of selling its shares as it’s a strong supporter of BlackBerry.

During the past year, the management focused on launching the BlackBerry 10 platform and BES 10.

It will be tough for BlackBerry to get a buyer in the current market conditions, telecom industry analysts said. ( Smartphone market share list in Q2 2013 )

How BlackBerry losing grip in Asia

“We continue to see compelling long-term opportunities for BlackBerry 10, we have exceptional technology that customers are embracing, we have a strong balance sheet and we are pleased with the progress that has been made in our transition,” said Thorsten Heins, president and CEO of BlackBerry.

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