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BlackBerry goes with newspaper ads in bid to reassure world of its future

Blackberry Z10

All the doomsayers are wrong. Everything’s fine, promise. That’s the message BlackBerry’s been trying to spread with a series of full-page newspaper ads placed in titles around the world.

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The ads, which take the form of an open letter, are a bid by the Waterloo-based company to reassure customers, carriers and partners that it actually has a future.

“These are no doubt challenging times for us and we don’t underestimate the situation or ignore the challenges,” it says in the ads. “We are making the difficult changes necessary to strengthen BlackBerry.”

The ads acknowledge that “these are no doubt challenging times for us and we don’t underestimate the situation” but says “you can continue to count on BlackBerry.” They also make mention of the fact that the company has large cash reserves and is debt fee.

That said, it doesn’t make any mention of the fact that the company is for sale and could potentially be broken up and sold for parts.

The embattled smartphone maker recently began negotiations with Fairfax Holdings, its largest shareholder, to go private. Fairfax hopes to acquire BlackBerry at US$9 per share, pending due diligence. If the deal goes through BlackBerry would be valued at US$4.7-billion.

At the moment however, BlackBerry shares are trading well below those levels, meaning that Fairfax could have difficulties attracting other investors. When US markets closed yesterday, BlackBerry stocks were trading at around US$8.14

“We’re getting a lot of queries and interest from loyal consumers, from all of our enterprise customers and big government institutions,” Andrew MacLeod, BlackBerry’s regional managing director for North America, said in an interview.

Thing is, that doesn’t really fly with Bloomberg’s assertion that some of the world’s largest banks, including Morgan Stanley, were holding off on upgrading to BlackBerry 10 on fears about the company’s future.

It should also be noted that BlackBerry’s last big advertising campaign pretty much failed to sell the public on its BlackBerry 10 devices — the Z10 and Q10. If you’re a BlackBerry fan therefore, we would advise that you treat the message in the ads with a pinch of salt.

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