John Chen Says BlackBerry Open to Receive $19B Offer from Potential Buyers; BBM Soon Available for Nokia X and Lumia Devices
By Vittorio Hernandez | February 26, 2014 4:20 PM EST
REUTERS/Mark Blinch/ Files
The company logo is see at the Blackberry campus in Waterloo, in this Sept. 23, 2013 file photo. A report of a possible second expression of interest in Blackberry Ltd reversed a stock price slide on Wednesday, after the struggling smartphone maker announced $400 million in pre-tax charges related to cuts announced last month.
YouTube/Al Jazeera English
A few months ago, BlackBerry's board changed its mind and said the embattled Canadian company would no longer be sold. However, this week, BlackBerry CEO John Chen that for $19 billion, he would be willing to sell the company to any corporate giant. He made the statement during an interview with CNBC at the MWC, obviously referring to the amount that Facebook shelled out for WhatsApp.
However, obviously no one is willing to part with such large amount of money for dying company like BlackBerry, for which Mr Chen was picked to salvage.
Commenting on Mr Chen's statement, Techcrunch writer Darrell Etherington wrote, "I'd recommend someone check to make sure he wasn't experiencing some kind of early onset dementia, since $19 billion would be a very impressive price for BBM in its current state."
But Mr Chen admitted that the more important agenda for the Waterloo-based tech has been is to expand it and make it as big as possible.
Right now, BlackBerry's expansion is in the area of making the BlackBerry Messaging free messaging app available to both the Lumia gadgets based on Microsoft Windows Phone and the new Nokia X cellphone built on a forked version of Android just revealed this week.
BlackBerry said the BBM for those devices would go live in the coming months and the very latest on summer, after it goes live first in the Nokia Store.
John Sims, president for Global Enterprise Solutions at BlackBerry, said in a statement, "BBM continues to grow in popularity as millions of people use our mobile platform for chatting and connecting with friends or colleagues, and we are very excited that we will soon welcome Windows Phone and Nokia X users to the BBM community."
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