TORONTO—BlackBerry has agreed to sell itself for $4.7 billion to a group led by largest shareholder, Fairfax.
BlackBerry said Monday that a letter of intent has been signed and its shareholders will receive $9 in cash for each share.
Fairfax head Prem Watsa is a former board member who owns 10 per cent of BlackBerry. Watsa stepped down when BlackBerry announced it was considering a sale last month. The billionaire is one of Canada’s best-known value investors.
The consortium is expected to complete its due diligence by Nov. 4. Until then, BlackBerry is allowed to actively solicit and evaluate rival offers.
The agreement includes a break fee of at least 30 cents per share, or about $157 million, if BackBerry signs a deal with another buyer under certain circumstances. That amount increases to 50 cents per share or about $262 million if BlackBerry has signed a definitive agreement with the Fairfax consortium.
Trading of the company’s stock was halted ahead of the news. BlackBerry shares plunged after the company announced Friday a loss of nearly $1 billion and layoffs of 4,500 workers.