eMediaWorld.com Reports BlackBerry (TSE: BB-CA) to be acquired by Fairfax for $4.7 billion USD

September 23, 2013 11:08 AM1 commentViews: 28854

eMediaWorld.com Reports BlackBerry (TSE: BB-CA) to be acquired by Fairfax for $4.7 billion USD

BlackBerry said Monday that a letter of intent has been signed and its shareholders will receive $9 in cash for each share.

Fairfax head Prem Watsa is a former board member who owns 10 percent of BlackBerry. Watsa stepped down when BlackBerry announced it was considering a sale last month. The billionaire is one of Canada’s best-known value investors. .

Trading of the company’s stock was halted ahead of the news. BlackBerry shares plunged after the company announced Friday a loss of nearly $1 billion and layoffs of 4,500 workers.

The BlackBerry, pioneered in 1999, was once the dominant smartphone for on-the-go business people and other consumers before Apple’s iPhone debuted in 2007.

BlackBerry agreed in principal Monday to be acquired by Fairfax Financial, a Canadian insurance company, for $9 a share in a deal worth $4.7 billion in US dollars.

Trading in BlackBerry (Toronto Stock Exchange: BB-CA) was halted before the announcement. When it resumed at 2 p.m. EDT, the stock jumped as much as 5 percent before retreating slightly. Prior to the announcement shares in the troubled smartphone maker company were down more than 5 percent.

Fairfax Financial, sometimes called the Berkshire Hathaway of Canada, is a holding company whose primary business is in insurance. Fairfax is also BlackBerry’s largest shareholder.

It is led by Prem Watsa, a chemical engineer by training who has run the firm since the mid-1980s.

The press-shy Watsa has long been a supporter of BlackBerry, and his name has been linked with a potential buyout for months.

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