Nice think piece from Andrew Orlowski on tech companies becoming licensing companies:
All these companies are essentially licensing their brand and – in varying degrees – their technology know-how too. It’s a recognition that the global centre of gravity for manufacturing is now In China, which can also absorb the risk of moving into new markets. And in theory, it suits both sides. If Chinese industry can out-engineer and out-manufacture the West, it hasn’t yet show it can out market an Apple or a Sony.
Source: BlackBerry’s licensing strategy looks smart – and a lot like Nokia’s
That former Sybase CEO, John Chen, did a good turn around job at Sybase a company that was similarly in the wrong side of market disruption but had deep enterprise but in.
Moore profile that turn around in Escape Velocity (an excellent book on the topic of reviving flatlined tech companies): he took Sybase from a $2.2B market cap to a $5.8B acquisition by SAP in three years.
Some more numbers from Baron’s Johanna Bennett here, inc. that the debt is convertible to a ~16% ownership position in Blackberry.
Blackberry gets $1B investoloan, former Sybase CEO
Pretty amazing. We’ll see if an interloper comes and puts in another bid:
It should also be noted that Fairfax is still trying to raise the financing for the deal from BofA Merrill Lynch and BMO Capital Markets and is not obligated to follow through on an actual definitive agreement.
There’s also the unavoidable Apple comparison pot-shots, of course.
BlackBerry to be acquired by a group led by Fairfax Financial for $4.7B