RIM Hoists NewBay ‘For Sale’ Sign And Mulls Asset Sale
Troubled BlackBerry maker RIM is reportedly looking to sell Newbay and other assets as it seeks to organise a mobile fightback
Research in Motion (RIM) is reportedly looking to sell its recently acquired cloud services provider Newbay, as speculation mounts of an asset sell-off at the troubled BlackBerry maker.
RIM is seeking buyers for Irish cloud specialist Newbay Software Ltd, which it bought in October 2011as well as looking to offload other ‘minor assets, according to Reuters. RIM declined to comment on the sale report.
Newbay is a digital content service provider that provides tools to mobile operators and device makers.
Its main offering is a “white label” platform called LifeCache, which powers cloud-based services for digital content across mobile, PC, tablet and TV devices. The platform has more than 80 million subscribers, and the Irish company boasts a blue chip client base including the likes of T-Mobile USA, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica O2, France Telecom Orange, US Cellular, AT&T, Telstra, Verizon, and LG Electronics.
RIM only purchased NewBay back in October 2011, for a reportedly hefty purchase price of $100m (£64m). But that acquisition was conducted under RIM’s previous management team, namely co-Chief Executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. Both men resigned in January this year after they failed to turn around the fortunes of RIM, which has struggled for years in the face of fierce competition from Android and Apple.
They were replaced by new CEO Thorsten Heins, who has begun restructuring the company (including axing 5,000 staff and refocusing on foreign markets), but he still faces an uphill battle to restore BlackBerry’s fortunes in the mobile sector.
Heins also recently confirmed that RIM’s much needed new BlackBerry 10 smartphones will only arrive in January 2013 to aid in its fightback against the Android and Apple juggernauts. The new operating system is seen as vital to the company’s chances of a recovery, but it has been badly delayed.
This has led many to take a pessimistic view of RIM. In July Heins was forced to dismiss claims in a radio interview that the company is in a “death spiral”. The company has also had to deny reports that developers are losing interest in the platform.
Yet it is known that in May, RIM hired JP Morgan Chase and the Royal Bank of Canada to study its strategic options. In June, the company was forced to deny reports that it was planning to split itself into two companies. One would control its handset operations and the other its messaging platform.
And last week Bloomberg reported that IBM was interested in acquiring RIM’s enterprise services unit. IBM was said to have made an informal approach about possibly buying the division, which operates a network of secure services to support RIM’s BlackBerry devices.
RIM’s finances have suffered as a result and it faces a £661 million write-down on unsold devices.
The company may be in trouble, but what about BlackBerry phones? Try our quiz!