BlackBerry goes on sale for $4.7 bn

blackberry-logo-teleanalysis.comA consortium led by Fairfax is all set to acquire BlackBerry for $4.7 billion. The Canadian smartphone maker Blackberry today signed a deal with Fairfax Financial with the latter offered to acquire Blackberry subject to due diligence.

The acquisition process is expected to be over by November 4.

Fairfax Financial, owned by Prem Watsa, currently holds 10% of BlackBerry and so far has been the largest investor in the smartphone firm.

The letter of intent (LOI) says BlackBerry shareholders would receive U.S. $9 in cash for each share of BlackBerry share they hold, in a transaction valued at approximately U.S. $4.7 billion. The consortium would acquire the company in a all cash deal for the outstanding shares of BlackBerry not held by Fairfax.

Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Fairfax, said: “We believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for BlackBerry, its customers, carriers and employees. 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.”

Little over a month back, the smartphone maker had expressed that it is exploring all available options to turn around the company.

To explore the possible options, the board of the directors of the company had formed a Special Committee that includes BlackBerry’s chairperson Barbara Stymiest, its CEO Thorsten Heins, former Verizon executive vice president Richard Lynch and former CEO of Sony Ericsson Bert Nordberg. The latter two were inducted to BlackBerry board as recent as February this year. The special committee was chaired by Timothy Dattels, former investment banker and Goldman Sachs executive.

The consortium led by Farifax is seeking financial help from BofA, Merrill Lynch and BMO Capitals.

The troubled company had on Friday said that it is expecting significant revenue loss in the second quarter and is planning to reduce its workforce by 4,500 globally.

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