Selling up: BlackBerry reveals $4.7 billion takeover deal

Fairfax to take Canadian giant private

Selling up: BlackBerry reveals $4.7 billion takeover deal
After months of speculation, Canadian mobile giant BlackBerry has announced it is to sell up, entering into a letter of intent with a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings.

The buyout will cost Fairfax – which already owns a 10 percent stake in BlackBerry - $4.7 billion, coming in at $9 per share.

The move has already been approved by the firm's board of directors, with the buyout set to transform BlackBerry from a public company into a private one.

Going private

"We believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for BlackBerry, its customers, carriers and employees," detailed Fairfax chairman and CEO Prem Watsa .

"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."

The deal isn't the buyout that's been hinted at – rumours suggesting Lenovo was interested in making a move – but rather will enable BlackBerry to keep its financial results private as it attempts to tame its current woes.

It's perfectly possible that another buyer – a technology company or rival OEM – could yet acquire what's left of BlackBerry once the Fairfax deal has gone through.

Last week saw BlackBerry announce the culling of 4,500 jobs and the announcement of a quarterly loss expected to range between $950 and $995 million.

The company also revealed its pulling away from the consumer market, narrowing the number of handsets it offers in order to re-focus on enterprise.

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Representing the former colonies, Matt keeps the Pocket Gamer news feed updated when sleepy Europeans are sleeping. As a frustrated journalist, diehard gamer and recovering MMO addict, this is pretty much his dream job.