BlackBerry and the so-called “deadline” with Fairfax

by Chris on November 1, 2013

Tonight has been a hilarious night of Twitter dialogue. In some cases friendly and in some cases more like a Twitter fight.

The topic: BlackBerry.  Too many media outlets are representing Monday November 4th as some kind of looming deadline for Fairfax Financial to firm up their bid to buy BlackBerry.  It isn’t a deadline at all. It is very clear for anyone who reads the press release.

I point this out to people who then dance around the issue of their factually incorrect reporting as if it really is a deadline because they think it should be. Sorry folks. You don’t understand how M&A works.

Fairfax may firm up their deal on Monday. Or they may extend the due diligence period. The 4th is an expected completion date and nothing more.

There are people who think bids will come hard and fast. And that may be true. But who knows. One reporter /analyst argued with me saying that “Anyone who waits until Tuesday is out of the game. ”  This is a clear demonstration of what happens when people don’t understand how these things work. Remember all the bids going back and forth over Clearwire and Sprint?

There are no deadlines that matter much except for shareholders voting on a deal. A board of directors can accept a deal and another player can come in at any time.

Do these people really… seriously believe that a board would be handcuffed by an offer? Of course they won’t. That’s why break fees exist.

If Fairfax firms up their deal on Monday all this does is increase the break fee should another higher offer come.   And it’s entirely possible,  not that I’m predicting this,  that nothing happens Monday.

Too much crap understanding of this stuff by sites / firms that should know better.

To the two media folks who actually recognized their mistakes (you-know-who you are) and acted like men,  I salute you. You are not the norm.

Howard Simpson November 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Monday has passed with quite a bit of news even if it wasn’t exactly what a BlackBerry loyalist would have hoped for. I need you to explain how the Fairfax investment changes anything. Hasn’t the company essentially attempted to offset the losses of the last quarter but doubled that loss through acquiring debt? Help me understand.

Chris November 26, 2013 at 11:37 am

Howard, I don’t understand where you’re drawing this conclusion from. Fairfax and the rest of the convertible debt investors simply lent money to BBRY in return for an interest rate + option to convert into common stock at $10/share. It’s just a financing. It does nothing (much) to change the quarterly profit/loss (aside from small interest charges)

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