Canadian Manufacturing

BlackBerry agrees to sell to group led by largest shareholder, Fairfax, for $4.7 billion

Letter of intent has been signed and its shareholders will receive $9 in cash for each share.

September 23, 2013  by The Canadian Press

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.

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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.


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