1. the_sleuth's Avatar
    NYT has interesting take away from Fairfax's Letter of Intent. Good news is BlackBerry survives by going private and this letter might start the auctioning process to highest bidder. Let's hope so for small shareholders......

    A Deal for BlackBerry Thats Not Yet a Deal
    By STEVEN DAVIDOFF

    Looking at the BlackBerry announcement, I couldnt help but think of that Ren Magritte painting of a pipe with a statement in French that this is not a pipe. For BlackBerry, this is not a deal, or at least not yet.

    What was announced on Monday was instead a letter of intent between Blackberry and Fairfax Financial Holdings, a financial company that owns about 10 percent of BlackBerrys common shares. Under the letter of intent, Fairfax is offering to pay $9 per share.

    But a letter of intent is not a binding deal, and a lot of things need to happen before the company is actually acquired for $9 a share.

    We dont yet have the full text of the letter of intent, but in a best-case scenario, the letter obligates Fairfax to make efforts to secure financing and acquire BlackBerry. But Fairfaxs obligations to actually go through with a deal will be subject to a number of conditions, including that Fairfax is satisfied with its due diligence or investigation of BlackBerrys finances and that it negotiate a definitive agreement. Most important, any deal will need financing before Fairfax will be required to acquire BlackBerry.

    It is quite unusual to announce any acquisition like this, let alone without financing. Most targets would require a commitment letter from banks that make financing more certain. Absent that, the targets board would ask for at least a letter from the banks that states that the buyers were highly confident that financing would be obtained. These letters, invented by Michael Milken back in the 1980s for Drexel Burnham Lambert are the realm of bidders who are unsure about financing. But at least the banks give some level of commitment in a highly confident level even if they can later back out.

    In this case, the best Fairfax could do was say that it was seeking financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and BMO Capital Markets. So am I.

    Additionally, given Fairfaxs 10 percent stake in BlackBerry and the companys perilous state, any lender would probably require much more equity before financing this transaction. So Fairfax is going to have to find a partner.

    In this light, the best that can be made of this letter of intent is that it is a Hail Mary pass, aimed in part at putting a temporary floor on BlackBerrys share price and perhaps kick starting some type of auction. If BlackBerry were more sure of itself, it would have certainly waited until financing could have been lined up.

    As evidence of this, the letter of intent contains an unusual feature. BlackBerry has agreed to pay a fee to Fairfax of 30 cents a share if it enters into a transaction with another party. By my calculations, this is roughly $150 million. Fairfax and BlackBerry said they would seek to sign an agreement by Nov. 4. So $150 million is not a bad payday for running around for a month or two and trying to persuade a bank to rescue BlackBerry.

    And there is also a go-shop in the letter. BlackBerry will be allowed to solicit other offers, though, presumably, it has already been doing this. It will gain some advantage, perhaps, by now being able to promote a price as it tries to entice someone.

    But that is all BlackBerry has right now: a hope that financing will come through and that Fairfax will remain committed to this process. Alternatively, perhaps another bidder will come in. As Barbara Stymiest, the chairwoman of BlackBerrys board of directors, stated. The Special Committee is seeking the best available outcome for the Companys constituents, including for shareholders.

    But Blackberry is taking a terrible risk here since the Fairfax deal has a real risk of collapsing and leaving BlackBerrys committee and its shareholders with nothing. The board probably felt it had no choice.

    In other words, this is a deal that still has more time to bake before it becomes a deal.
    http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/09/...oofinance&_r=0
    danprown, Shanerredflag and mset like this.
    09-23-13 04:43 PM
  2. hoopitz's Avatar
    Good read. Thanks!

    Posted via CB10
    09-23-13 04:49 PM
  3. world traveler and former ceo's Avatar
    Imo, This is the Beginning of the bidding process.... shrewd big players are not going to let Fairfax steal this company at super low ball prices.....

    Posted via CB10
    fedakd likes this.
    09-23-13 09:40 PM
  4. randall2580's Avatar
    This is so they can't get sued by current shareholders. When no one comes forward with a higher bid they can say they tried and sold to the highest bidder.

    Then it will be interesting to see if Prem actually has the money.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using CB Forums mobile app
    09-23-13 09:51 PM
  5. world traveler and former ceo's Avatar
    .. then they will spinoff BBM4ALL ipo for $5 b next year.... $$$$$

    Posted via CB10
    09-23-13 09:53 PM
  6. njblackberry's Avatar
    How will they monetize BBM4ALLoncetheyfigureitout? Ads? I have asked this question a few times and never gotten an answer.
    09-23-13 09:57 PM
  7. take99's Avatar
    I think they hope bbm money will bring in revenue, some percentage per transaction
    09-23-13 10:16 PM
  8. tiziano27's Avatar
    It can happen also that no other offer comes over $9 and Fairfax can't get financing.
    09-23-13 11:16 PM
  9. danprown's Avatar
    I think the article is basically saying that before the shareholders get too down about their loss of "upside," they have to say to Fairfax "SHOW ME THE MONEY!"

    Once you know who ponies up the money, you get a better sense of the direction the company will take under new management...
    09-23-13 11:35 PM
  10. the_sleuth's Avatar
    I believe Fairfax's offer is opportunistic (at $9 it's lower than Friday Sept 20th close at $9.08 on NASDAQ). The LOI will force other interested parties such as Microsoft or Lazaridis-led alternative bid to make its move very soon within 6 weeks window. This is good news for small shareholders.

    I think the article is basically saying that before the shareholders get too down about their loss of "upside," they have to say to Fairfax "SHOW ME THE MONEY!"

    Once you know who ponies up the money, you get a better sense of the direction the company will take under new management...
    09-24-13 10:25 AM

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