Canada’s Fairfax offers to acquire BlackBerry in $4.7 billion deal
Futures on crude oil, Canadas biggest export, fell 1.2 percent to $103.52 per barrel in New York and the Standard & Poors Index of U.S. stocks dropped 0.5 percent. BlackBerrys tentative $4.7 billion buyout offer from a group led by its biggest shareholder opens a path for the company to go private after a new line of smartphones failed to catch on. The loonie fell Sept. 20 when BlackBerry announced 4,500 job cuts. Fed Bank of New York President William C. Dudley said that policy makers must forcefully push against economic headwinds as the U.S. has yet to show any meaningful pickup in momentum. The economy still needs the support of a very accommodative monetary policy, Dudley, who is vice chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee and votes on monetary policy, said today in the text of remarks for a speech in New York. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart , a backer of bond purchases who also spoke in New York, warned of slowing job creation. The central bank on Sept. 18 unexpectedly maintained the $85 billion in monthly asset purchases it uses to encourage growth and cap borrowing costs. Repositioning Markets Within this brave new world, Canada probably does better until the Fed blinks, Brad Schruder a director of foreign exchange at Bank of Montreal, said by phone from Toronto. Despite retail sales being a decent number to watch for economic activity, I think the Canadian data isnt really what youre keying off of.
My next trip was to the coastal town of Kismayo where I spent a night in a compound for foreign aid workers. For hours in the extreme heat, humidity and gloom we listened to the screams of a wretched man in the compound next door as his captors beat the soles of his feet. The third visit was to Mogadishu. The airport was secure and bustling with purpose in a way that every temporary U.S. air base does. But venturing even a few metres beyond the airport perimeter was impossible at the time without a strong military escort because the city was ruled by rival gangs high from chewing khat who raced around in Mad Max-style pickup trucks known as atechnicals.a A short time later I was with Canadian paratroops deployed to Belet Huen. Military engineers there marvelled at how an entire Bailey bridge they had put down the previous day had completely disappeared overnight. Every scrap of metal and every nut and bolt had been stolen. It was such an environment that produced al-Shabab, which is based in Kismayo. Within months of being established only about eight years ago, it had grown to become one of the largest, most feared group in southern and central Somalia. Taking its lead from al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden, it practises a fanatical, fantastically cruel version of Shariah law in which, for example, young girls suspected of having had relations with a boy were buried alive, with their heads smashed to pieces by stones thrown by a baying mob. Despite the brutal images from Nairobi, all is not lost.
4. Until then, the deal could still fall apart or have the terms of the acquisition changed. The letter of intent allows BlackBerry to keep talking with other potential investors before a final deal is signed with the Fairfax consortium. This is probably the best possible outcome of several unattractive options for BlackBerry, said analyst Jack Gold, of J. Gold Associates, in an email. He said the deal could give the company time to restructure and keep investors from breathing down their neck. The deal would also provide them with some financial stability so its enterprise customers would not feel compelled to replace them for fear of going out of business, he said. Enterprise customers are important to BlackBerry and the company said last week it would focus future efforts on them rather than consumers. But it wont be easy. Negative press on its situation can sometimes be a self-fulfilling prophesy, and the market may not be kind to them even if they do provide innovative products and services, he said. Background BlackBerry was once the leader of the smartphone sector. At a time when other companies were asking consumers to struggle with clunky web interfaces to email, BlackBerry revolutionized messaging with its handsets that combined an email client with a real keyboard. But the company failed to evolve its handset range when Apple launched its iPhone and full-screen touchphones began attracting consumers. Its BlackBerry 10 operating system, released earlier this year after more than a year of delays, was an attempt to turn things around, but many analysts saw it as coming too late. Consumers apparently feel the same way. On Friday, BlackBerry said it would take almost $1 billion in charges on unsold Z10 handsets .