There was a time not that long ago, if you said "BlackBerry 850" people knew you were talking about the most sought after wireless device available. Lately however, those words have tended to be used only to reflect BlackBerry's (BBRY) battered share price, which has slumped about 30% this year and about 95% since 2008.
But now, thanks to a rock-bottom $9-per share privatization bid from Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings, the formerly named Research In Motion could soon be able to do its much needed dirty work in the dark.
The unsurprising takeout play comes after a long list of humiliating failures for the Canadian mobile device maker. Last Friday BlackBerry pre-announced its quarterly results a week early, disclosing a massive shortfall in sales as well as plans to cut staff by forty percent.
Perhaps fittingly, the final demise or disappearance of BlackBerry comes on the very same day that Apple (AAPL) announced that it sold a record nine million of its new 5S and 5C iPhones in just three days.
To be clear, the all-cash offer from Fairfax was about ten percent above where the stock was trading prior to the announcement Monday afternoon and also allows Blackberry to shop the street for competing offers for the next six weeks, until November 4th, to see if it can come up with something sweeter.
For its part, Fairfax already owns ten percent of the company and its CEO Prem Watsa was on the BlackBerry board before stepping down in August; a move that had been widely seen as a precursor to today's formal letter of intent.
For now, the stock is back trading above the $9 price implying that traders believe we haven't seen the final offer yet, be that a from Fairfax or another entity who sees value where many other investors only see BlackBerry shame.