Canadian Manufacturing

BlackBerry stocks get 6% boost as talk of potential sale heats up

Jump in price came amid unconfirmed reports that Fairfax Financial Holdings closing in on deal

TORONTO—Shares in BlackBerry soared almost six per cent after unconfirmed reports surfaced that the troubled smartphone maker has found a couple of homegrown buyers for its assets.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, BlackBerry stock closed up 67 cents at $11.96 on volume of more than 4.2 million shares, well above its daily average of less than 2.9 million.

The big move in the shares of the Waterloo, Ont.-based company came amid unconfirmed reports that Fairfax Financial Holdings chairman Prem Watsa is closing in on a rescue deal for BlackBerry.

The Sunday Times newspaper has reported that Watsa has assembled billions of dollars in backing from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

Other Canadian pension funds are also expected to back Watsa’s bid, the Times says, citing unnamed banking sources.

A CPPIB spokesperson contacted by The Canadian Press refused comment.

Fairfax is BlackBerry’s largest shareholder, with a 10 per cent stake.

Watsa stepped down from the BlackBerry board in August, citing a potential conflict of interest when the company said it was exploring the sale of itself and other options.

His resignation prompted speculation that Watsa, known as the Canadian Warren Buffett, was mulling a bid for the company.

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