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BlackBerry sold to Fairfax Financial for $4.7 billion

The bad news continues to roll in for BlackBerry as the troubled smartphone designer has begun the process of becoming a private company, following its sale of $4.7 billion to Fairfax Financial Holdings.

BlackBerry put itself up for sale last month following drops in both revenue and share values, with hopes that making the company private would allow it to restructure safely and find a new niche in the market that is already dominated by the likes of Apple and Samsung.

Fairfax already owns around 10 per cent of stock in BlackBerry, so this isn't a case of a larger company swooping in to incorporate a struggling firm into its ranks. The firm already has experience and knowledge of BlackBerry's place in the market and any plans that the phone designer might have.

Shareholders will receive $9 per share in cash following the buyout.

And the highest bidder is…Fairfax! Source: PhilWolff

Prem Watsa, chairman and chief executive of Fairfax, has a lot of praises to sing for this sale, as well as hopes for BlackBerry in the market.

“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.”

There is now a six week diligence period ending on the 4th of November in which BlackBerry is free to solicit, evaluate, and enter into negotiations with other offers from alternative companies.

KitGuru Says: Mass lay-offs, and now going private. BlackBerry needs to fix itself up and fast before even more potential customers lose interest in the company.

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