A tale of two companies from Canada or omhoog stront kreek, as we say in Holland.
While one Canadian company, CGI, was flying high this week with the announcement of the acquisition of Logica; the British Leyland of IT service companies; another Canadian company, Research In Motion (RIM), was certainly lacking the old vim and vigour.
Squeezed by its fruitier rival, Apple, and aggravated by And-er-roids, RIM has sought to apply the help of bankers to sooth its flagging sales and reverse its prickly stock erosion in what many RIM watchers call a much needed preparation for “a sale” or “break-up” of the company.
The company line, however, from one of the new avengers at the company, Thorsten Heins has more beans.
Without ruling out a sale (or the help from friends; Tony Stark (Iron Man), Captain America and the Hulk), Thor’ is sticking to the line that he is looking to execute his plan to reverse the fortunes at the CrackBarry maker.
This, however, is obviously “Thorspeak” – for sending a swathe of his Earthly minions into an early Valhalla bath in the hope of stemming the red ink that it is haemorrhaging onto the balance sheet.
To anger Odin further, Heins also has a classic distribution problem in that he has truckfulls of stock rotting in his warehouses without the possibility of making any jam out of them. This is because because his acolytes are waiting for the new Crack Baz 10 and nobody wants to buy yesterday’s bread, as my old moeder used to say.
So it’s small wonder that Heins is canning the launch of the new line of Bazzers until he can reduce his costs or strike a mega deal with Mazuma to sidestep these further charges hitting the balance sheet.
What must he be thinking?
He only took over in January when the co-founders of the company: Terrance (Jim Balsillie) and Phillip (Mike Lazaridis) left.
Heins’s questions about future products and investor worries to T&P were obviously drowned out on the Tarmac by the departing jets of a Gulfstream, G6 and the popping of Cristal Champagne corks.
Time is running out for Odin’s favourite son. Will he cave into investor calls and hope RIM’s attractive patents plus low stock price will prompt a call from uncle Stevey B at Microsoft or perhaps initiate a visit from the Men In Blue? (IBM) Will Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer, make the necessary adjustments to the business and bring it back from the brink? One can only speculate.
One thing that is perhaps a lot clearer is that Facebook is probably out of the contention after rumours that it is already in talks to purchase another Norse legend, Opera.
If there is a sale, the likelihood, say investors, is that RIM, or RIMP (rest in many pieces), will be split up into more attractive bits.
But at this stage its “nog niet voorbij
tot de dikke dame zingt.”
Ed–you forgot to write about the Logica story. RVM. It’s far too depressing.