NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If you own shares in BlackBerry (BBRY - Get Report), don't expect to own them in a year from now. I know for some this is stating the obvious, but bear with me for a moment because it hasn't fully sunk in for many.
About two years ago I wrote BlackBerry would most likely be taken over within a year. It should have happened within a year and, if not for lack of leadership, it would have. I'm sure we can all agree to sell in 2012 would have been much better for shareholders.
BlackBerry's management deficient was rectified when Thorsten Heins took over as CEO, or at least it appeared that way. Heins was given an attractive package that highly incentivized a quick sale. Why it didn't happen only Heins and potential suitors know, but waiting until after the BB10 release is the definition of putting all your eggs in one basket.
BlackBerry isn't the first to forget Wall Street's golden rule of "buy the rumor, sell the news." Palm made the same mistake and sold for much less to
. What once was Motorola split into two companies and the wireless device maker division became part of
. There are other examples, but you get the point. So where are we now within this context?
There's a lot of discussion about intellectual property values and cash on the balance sheet, but it's a distraction from the elephant in the room. The real challenge for Heins to receive his approximately $55 million parachute is finding a buyer who thinks it's a brilliant idea to go head to head with
, Google and
Surprisingly, it's not easy to find many CEOs willing to raise their hands and risk their reputation to challenge the biggest heavyweight contenders. This means the best option for BlackBerry shareholders is to sell to someone already in the space.
Some may want to include Chinese companies as a possibility, but if you think the consumer exodus was quick and sure, think about how fast enterprise clients would jump ship knowing the Chinese government is their "secure" provider. If a Chinese company does happen to buy BlackBerry, you can bet you won't like the price.