此外，战略竞标者之间也不太可能产生竞争关系。很难想象银湖投资集团（Silver Lake）和迈克尔•戴尔会在将戴尔公司（Dell Inc.）私有化之后，再花上约50亿美元收购黑莓，而伊坎作为大股东的戴尔公司更可能充当卖家而非买家的角色。坊间传闻联想（Lenovo）和宏达（HTC）也一直对黑莓感兴趣，但是很难想象这起交易能通过加拿大监管部门的许可（更不用说与美国政府部门达成卖主协议）。也有人认为，苹果（Apple）、谷歌（Google）和微软（Microsoft）这样的公司也许希望部分收购黑莓——比如它的安全网络资产或专利——但私有化收购与只出售一部分大不相同。而且，就战略利益而言，即使按照如今的低股价，部分收购黑莓可能仍然得不偿失。
Smartphone maker BlackBerry Inc. (BBRY) is "open" to going private, according to Reuters. How delightful. In related news, my toddler is "open" to getting a pony for her next birthday.
On paper, a BlackBerry leveraged buyout does make sense. The company could be viewed as a bargain, given that its $4.8 billion market cap is a perverse rearrangement of the $84 billion it was valued at back in 2008 (and 19% lower than where it began the year). More importantly, it still has decent cash-flow ($630 million last quarter) and absolutely no debt.
Moreover, there is unlikely to be competition from strategic bidders. It's hard to imagine Silver Lake and Michael Dell would spend another $5 billion or so after having just been forced to stretch for Dell Inc. (DELL), while an Icahn-owned Dell would be more seller than buyer. China's Lenovo (LNVGY) or HTTC are always rumored to have interest, but it's hard to imagine such a deal flying with Canadian regulators (let alone what would happen to vendor agreements with U.S. government departments). There are arguments that companies like Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG) or Microsoft (MSFT) may want select piece of BlackBerry -- such as its secured network assets or patents -- but being amenable to a take-private buyout is much different than enabling a strip sale. And even at today's depressed valuation, BlackBerry's parts may be too rich for strategic interest.
So back to the buyout talk. Or lack thereof, since companies only leak such "openness" if no one is actively beating down their door.
The flip side of a bargain is a falling knife, and it's hard to imagine too many private equity firms wanting to put out their hands for a company that is descending at such terrifying velocity. Revenue is down a whopping 30% year-over-year, while the once-profitable company is now hundreds of millions of dollars in the red.
Today's BlackBerry is to companies like Apple and Samsung what Palm used to be to BlackBerry. That is to say it has become passé among consumers, seemingly regardless of product quality. Private equity firms are good at changing up management, massaging finances and growing sales of already-popular products. But not really at massive brand resuscitations.
Moreover, the universe of large private equity firms with deep tech expertise is fairly limited (just think of how few firms took a serious look at Dell).
So I'm sorry Emma, but no pony come November. But you won't be the only one not to get what you want...