Last year BlackBerry briefly put itself up for sale before deciding to push forward despite plummeting sales. At the time it was unclear why the Canadian company decided against selling, but the answer may simply be that no one offered enough money. In a recent interview with CNBC, CEO John Chen said he would accept a $19 billion offer for BBM following Facebook’s recent decision to buy WhatsApp for the same amount.
“If somebody comes to me with $19 billion I would definitely sell it,” he told CNBC. “I mean, I would recommend to the board to take it.”
Sorry Mr. Chen, but we seriously doubt any company will offer $19 billion for BBM any time soon. BlackBerry’s messaging service boasts just 80 million active users compared to WhatsApp’s 450 million (and growing). A little arithmetic puts BBM’s relative value at roughly $3.37 billion, but considering the service’s slow growth compared to WhatsApp’s one million new users per day, even that may be an overestimation of BBM’s value.
Still, following WhatsApp’s historic sale, the mobile messaging market looks poised to explode with competing apps like Line and Telegram boasting rapid growth in the wake of last week’s news. Hopefully, BlackBerry can ride that momentum using its own competing service.
Check out the full interview below.