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BlackBerry set for $4.7 billion buyout

Consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings will pay $9 a share for ailing mobile company

A consortium of investors is set to acquire all shares in BlackBerry for $4.7 billion, making the struggling hardware company independent.

In a statement issued yesterday, BlackBerry outlined the terms of the deal as $9 a share, only slightly higher than the current market price of $8.82. The consortium is led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., which already owns 10 per cent of BlackBerry's stock.

The deal has been approved by the BlackBerry board of directors, and final terms of the deal will be finalised by November 4, 2013. However, Blackberry has formed a special committee that will assess "strategic alternatives" available to the company.

"We believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for BlackBerry, its customers, carriers and employees," said Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa. "We can deliver immediate value to shareholders, while we continue the execution of a long-term strategy in a private company with a focus on delivering superior and secure enterprise solutions to BlackBerry customers around the world."

And BlackBerry is in dire need of a new solution. The company's struggle to reclaim its position as a force in mobile hardware has proved unsuccessful, with Apple and Google's hold on the market just as strong as ever.

Yesterday, the company revealed expectations of a $1 billion loss in the second quarter, largely due to its unpopular Z10 line of smartphones. It is also planning to make 4,500 people redundant, the second such round of layoffs in less than 18 months.

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Latest comments (4)

Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 3 years ago
All the firm really wants is their patent portfolio and Blackberry mail. Th company is dead outside the enterprise space, and they're losing ground fast there
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd3 years ago
I don't understand why anyone would spend $4.7 billion on Blackberry at this point. Their patent portfolio isn't even that good (they let Apple walk all over their smartphone patents) and as a device manufacturer they are completely worthless. Microsoft buying Nokia I get. This I do not.
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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster3 years ago
Well it was a consortium led by those who had the biggest share of the company. With 50% of the staff and private status, they can better control the finances and fortunes of the company. I don't know if we're looking at the brightest future for this firm but its a better direction for them. Blackberry will likely move in a diretion geared more towards services but that's speculation.
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Andrew Ihegbu Studying Bsc Commercial Music, University of Westminster3 years ago
At least now they can hopefully actually get a decent leader now and start making some smart decisions. Sometime I think these CEOs are so out of touch with the men on the street that they just dont know what they are are doing.
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