BlackBerry has had some rough years, but apparently the company still has money in the bank. The oft-forgotten Canadian phone maker recently forked over $425 million to acquire mobile security company Good Technology.
The acquisition is odd for a couple of reasons. Primary among them is the common knowledge that BlackBerry isn’t the company it once was.
It’s been nearly a decade since the company reached its peak value at the pre-smartphone phase of the mobile market, where BlackBerrys were the must-have device for consumer and enterprise users. But the company’s stock has continued to topple over just the past five years, losing nearly ninety percent of its value in that time.
BlackBerry now essentially makes novelty devices to remind people of the mid 2000s. The company reported selling just 1.1 million phones in the first quarter of this year and a loss of $28 million on revenue of $658 million. In the new world of smartphones, BlackBerry might as well make pagers.
The other reason why BlackBerry’s decision to snap up Good Technology is somewhat odd is the fact the companies have a history of bickering publicly with one another.
Good Technology has published white papers bashing BlackBerry’s technology and promoting its own, and has drawn enough ire out of the once-popular phone manufacturer to get them to throw some punches back.
Now the companies are on the same team. The move solidifies BlackBerry’s play as an enterprise and software company, and expects to pay out almost immediately with additional profits from Good’s existing business. Turns out, if you give a company over $400 million in cash and they immediately generate $150 million in revenue for you (as BlackBerry expects Good will do), it’s pretty easy to get over your past problems with one another.
Of course, none of this fixes the fact that no one wants a BlackBerry phone anymore, but it does move BlackBerry one step closer to not being entirely reliant on the flailing business model.