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BlackBerry to be acquired by Fairfax group in $4.7 billion deal

Blackberry Q10

Blackberry Q10

BlackBerry’s largest shareholder, Canadian insurance company Fairfax Financial, a Canadian firm headed by billionaire Prem Watsa, is already BlackBerry’s largest shareholder with approximately 10 percent of its shares, hopes to buy the BlackBerry for $9 per share.

The BlackBerry said it had signed a letter of intent with a group led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, which has offered to acquire the company. $9 per share is

an extremely low premium for a once-dominant company. Prior to the announcement on Monday, BlackBerry was trading at $8.24 per share. As recently as Friday, BlackBerry shares were trading at more than $10.

The proposed deal comes just three days after BlackBerry announced a brutal preliminary quarterly financial report, including a $1 billion loss for last quarter and plans to lay off about 4,500 staffers.

Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa, Fairfax’s chairman and chief executive, said: “We believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for Blackberry, its customers, carriers and employees.

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