John Chen, who saved Sybase, comes to BlackBerry

BlackBerry has rejected its sale to Fairfax, however, will be its shareholder No.1 after closing a capital of U.S. $ 1,000 million. The change includes replacing the current management team, starting with the CEO, Thorsten Heins, who makes 1 ½ hired JP Morgan and RBC Capital Markets to study all possible strategic options from outsource production of its terminals to sale of the company: too long and few results. That comes another CEO: John S. Chen, born in 1955 in Hong Kong. John Chen is, according to Forbes magazine, one of the 25 most influential Chinese-Americans in the world of business. He joined the advisory board of exports during the presidency of George W. Bush. A group of institutional investors led by venture capital fund Fairfax Financial has taken over BlackBerry, closing the sale process in which the company was, by its entry into the Canadian capital, which will issue bonds convertible to U.S. $ 1,000 million. Fairfax Financial control 10% of capital, along with other investors, which have not been released, and after running the convertible bonds of U.S. $ 1,000 million, due in 2020, may extend the injection of U.S. $ 250 million. The fund will acquire 25% of the issue. The placement is “an immediate cash injection BlackBerry, which will substantially improve its cash position,” said Barbara Stymiest, president of the board of directors of the company. BlackBerry Fairfax Financial and late September filed a preliminary agreement of U.S. $ 4700 million, which contemplated the delisted company but its deadline of six weeks to find other buyers. During this period the Canadian company held talks with companies like Lenovo and Facebook, the equity fund Cerberus and others, but everyone wanted to split the company. Neither the proposal was the company founders Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, who reported to the SEC an offer to purchase studied and increased their shareholding to 8% of the capital. According to the provisional letter of intent to purchase, Fairfax had offered $ 9 per share and was working to gather enough funding to take him to make the purchase, however, the market was skeptical of the operation. Theoretically, BlackBerry intention is to remain an independent company. BlackBerry now has the best product in its recent history to play solo. Your BlackBerry 10 platform has jumped on the bandwagon of the design and usability (graphically, quite reminiscent Android). In addition, the company remains the only manufacturer of terminals that controls its own communications network, which in the near future could be decisive, given the growing concern about the safety and privacy of personal data. But it is not an easy industry: Japan’s Panasonic, which announced the landing on smartphones last year and has already thrown in the towel and manufacture only white label terminals emerging countries. As for HP, which in 2010 bought Palm for U.S. $ 1200 million, finally decided to abandon plans to license the WebOS operating system, which kept it in a drawer. The entry of new investors in BlackBerry by subscribing to convertible bonds will run with the conversion price of the bonds into shares fixed at U.S. $ 10, which represents a premium of 28.7% over the closing stock of the company at the end of Friday 01/11. Although this news caused the Canadian company opened the session today (Tuesday 05/11) with losses of 15%, setting a price of $ 6.5. The company said that if the placement is fully subscribed the shares issued will account for 16% stake in the company, and this percentage could rise to 19% if it were to expand the broadcast. Inside BlackBerry restructuring plan provides for the release of his until now CEO, Thorsten Heins, replaced on an interim basis by John Chen, who will also executive chairman of the board of the company. Heins failed again lead with smartphones offer cautivase the public. He had taken over as CEO to replace Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, who had led the company since its inception. BlackBerry stated that the changes in its shareholders and its organization put an end to the strategic review process initiated after announcing a loss of U.S. $ 737 million in the 2nd. quarter. Chen said in an interview with Reuters that has no intention to sell the handset business and said: “I know we have enough ingredients to build a long term sustainable business.” After passing through Siemens Nixdorf, John S. Chen joined Sybase in 1997, a company in the 90’s lived up to giants like Oracle and that, however, had fallen into decline. When Chen joined Sybase, the company had fallen to lose 70% of its value in the market but being named CEO in 1998, Chen led a profound transformation of the service portfolio strategy and Sybase. In 1998, during the explosion of mobile telephony, Chen Sybase reoriented towards this emerging market and became a benchmark for business intelligence solutions for mobility. In the 12 years he was the head of Sybase Chen, the company was completely transformed to the attention of the giant SAP who bought it for U.S. $ 5,800 million. Having served on the boards of directors of Walt Disney Co. and Wells Fargo (which controls Warren Buffett), Chen left SAP in 2012, to join as an investment adviser in the private equity fund Silver Lake. Now lands on BlackBerry with a mission to revive the company. John Chen is, according to Forbes magazine, one of the 25 most influential Chinese-Americans in the world of business. He joined the advisory board of exports during the presidency of George W. Bush. And revive specializes in companies. Clearly, the environment is different from 1998 (Sybase) but BlackBerry has a set of values ​​and privileged relations (with governments and operators) that may be key in this process of change and transformation. Among other changes to note in Firectiva Board notes the arrival of Prem Watsa, chairman and CEO of Fairfax, who shall be appointed principal director and chairman of the Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

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