BlackBerry agrees to $4.7bn buyout

2013-09-24 08:44

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Ottawa, Canada – BlackBerry has agreed to a $4.7 billion (R46.2 billion) buyout by a consortium of investors who plan to take the struggling Canadian smartphone maker private.

The company said in a statement yesterday that it has “signed a letter of intent agreement under which a consortium to be led by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited has offered to acquire the company subject to due diligence”.

Fairfax, a Canadian firm, is already BlackBerry’s largest shareholder with approximately 10% of its shares.

Under the proposed deal, the consortium would offer $9 for each outstanding share, and Fairfax would contribute its own shares in the transaction.

BlackBerry said its board of directors supported the plan.

A firm deal, once due diligence is completed, is expected to be announced by November 4. It hinges also on the consortium obtaining financing.

BlackBerry said it would continue a search for a possibly better suitor in the interim.

On Friday, the company announced it was laying off 40% of its workforce after a dismal launch of new smartphones earlier this year.

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